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Police investigate series of anti-Semitic paint attacks on shops and synagogue

Appeal for witnesses to come forward after 'sickening' night of hate

29 December, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

The South Hampstead synagogue with ‘9/11’ painted on its side by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists

POLICE are today (Sunday) investigating a series of anti-Semitic messages painted on businesses in Hampstead and a synagogue in Belsize Park.

Council clean-up teams and individual businesses were removing the red and purple paint from walls, phone boxes and shop fronts as officers began the hunt for those responsible.

No arrests have been made so far. The first reports came through at around 11.30pm last night (Saturday).

The door of Cafe Hampstead and Esclot

Inspector Kev Hailes said: “This is clearly a concerning incident and one we are taking seriously. We have liaised with our partners in order to remove the graffiti and various enquiries are underway to find who is responsible. Officers will be on patrol throughout the area in order to provide some reassurance to local communities. Please approach us if you have any questions or concerns.”

He added: “I ask anyone who might have seen anything suspicious last night to call us and aid the investigation. The Met remains committed to tackling hate crimes in all its forms, and we will continue to work with our partners and the public to do so.”

A peace sign is now covering some of the damage at one shop

Among more than ten sites identified this morning were the shut down Cafe Hampstead and Oddbins in Rosslyn Hill, shops and phone boxes in Hampstead High Street and the South Hampstead synagogue in Eton Road.

Oddbins manager Tom Townsend said the message was sprayed over a board that had been covering the shop’s door following a recent break in.

“We are going to check our cameras,” he said. “I got a message at 8am this morning from a friend so I came down immediately to sort it out.”

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said: “This is unbelievable, senseless, disgusting antisemitism at the heart of our community. I am in touch with Camden Council and Borough Commander [Raj] Kohli regarding cleanup and attempting to find these criminals. We must all stay vigilant in order to continue the fight against this hatred.”

Hampstead ward councillor Oliver Cooper said: “I’m sickened by the anti-Semitic graffiti on walls all over Hampstead and Belsize Park this morning. All decent people across Britain stand with our Jewish community – and we must move heaven and earth to eradicate this racist hatred, which was unimaginable just a few years ago.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 7282/28Dec or the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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