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Manchester police officer filmed 'pulling down posters of Hamas hostages'

An investigation has been launched after a police officer was caught on camera appearing to pull down posters showing hostages captured by Hamas.

A video shared on social media on Monday night appeared to show the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer taking posters down from a temporary wall outside a construction site.

The clip is believed to have been filmed on Bury Old Road, on the border of Higher Broughton, Salford, and Crumpsall, north Manchester.

Posters for missing civilians in Israel have been put on display around the UK following the outbreak of conflict in Gaza earlier this month.

Some have been put up in parts of Bury, Salford and north Manchester, where there is a large Jewish community.

In a statement on Tuesday, Greater Manchester Police said it had launched an investigation, saying the actions apparently seen in the footage go against guidance issued to police.

A group of young Jewish men put up posters showing recently kidnapped or missing Israelis after the Hamas attack in Israel, in Stamford Hill, north London on October 13, 2023. The UK government announced Thursday £3 million ($3.7 million) of extra funding to help protect the Jewish community from anti-Semitic attacks, after a reported 400 percent spike in incidents since Hamas's weekend attacks in Israel. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Posters showing recently kidnapped or missing Israelis after the Hamas attack in Israel have been put up in cities around the UK. (AFP)

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Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry said: "We know the ongoing conflict in the Middle East is causing great distress to members of Greater Manchester’s Jewish community and our thoughts remain with them at this time.

"The force has increased engagement with representatives, including the Community Security Trust, to ensure that they feel heard and understood by GMP and to ensure their safety within the city and our neighbourhoods.

"We share concerns raised regarding the removal of posters in the north Manchester area and can confirm that an investigation is underway. The action taken last night, in response to complaints, is contrary to guidance that the force had already issued to staff in relation to flyposting.

"We will continue to work with local authorities and the community to ensure posters can be displayed. We regret any offence caused."

Growing number of incidents

The incident in Greater Manchester is not the first involving controversy over posters of Israeli civilians.

Scotland Yard is currently investigating a string of incidents where posters of Israeli civilians kidnapped by Hamas have been vandalised or ripped down.

Footage shared on social media showed posters being ripped down, while other posts showed posters defaced.

The incidents have added to concerns over rising antisemitic incidents in the UK and elsewhere following the conflict.

Jewish security group, The Community Security Trust (CST), which represents British Jews on issues of racism and policing, said antisemitic incidents in the UK have increased by almost 600% since Hamas’ attack on Israel.

It said it had recorded 320 antisemitic incidents between October 7 and 16, a sevenfold increase on the 47 antisemitic incidents recorded over the same period last year.