Scotland Yard said the attack was being treated as an Islamophobic crime. DS Steve Stamp said: “This was an unprovoked and hate-filled attack in broad daylight in the middle of a busy street. The woman was targeted by this suspect purely based on what she was wearing.
“Racially and religiously motivated crimes will not be tolerated. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack to contact police.”
The woman was walking alone along Oxford Street at about 8.15am when she was attacked. Police are looking at CCTV to try to trace the suspect, who is a white man, aged between 30 and 40, around 5ft 5in, with short, black, greased-back hair. He was wearing a grey sweatshirt and light blue jeans. The suspect ran off towards Marble Arch.
Official figures this month showed that hate crime leapt by more than four-fifths after the EU referendum in June. The number of racially and religiously aggravated alleged offences logged by forces in England and Wales in July was 41% higher than in the same month last year.
A Home Office report also showed that in 2015-16 the overall number of hate crimes logged by forces in England and Wales increased by nearly a fifth, with an average of about 170 offences recorded each day.