Boy, 16, arrested after swastikas sprayed on walls near synagogue

·2-min read
(Dave Thompson/PA) (PA Archive)
(Dave Thompson/PA) (PA Archive)

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after swastikas were sprayed on walls near a synagogue.

The teenager is in police custody on suspicion of religiously aggravated criminal damage after the incident in north-west London.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were alerted on Saturday evening to reports of someone spraying the symbols on walls in the vicinity of a synagogue in Belsize Square, Camden.

Officers attended at about 7.30pm and began a search for the suspect.

About 30 minutes later, they located a 16-year-old male nearby who was arrested on suspicion of religiously aggravated criminal damage.

He has been taken into custody.

Further enquiries have established that other swastikas have been sprayed on walls in the surrounding area.

An investigation is under way to determine if the same person is responsible.

The Camden Faith Leaders Forum said: “As Co-Chairs of the Camden Faith Leaders’ Forum, we were made aware of swastikas graffitied around Belsize Park on Saturday night.

“We immediately started working with the local Jewish community and Camden Cabinet Members who saw to a quick response which led to an arrest and rapid clean up operation. We pay tribute to all involved. As faith communities we stand together against all bigotry in our Borough.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews wrote on Twitter: “Tonight we’ve worked with local Jewish communities, @CST_UK @JewishLondon & @CamdenCouncil to coordinate actions by police & Camden in response to this antisemitic graffiti. We welcome swift action by all concerned, including an arrest & start of clean up.”

Anyone who witnessed the offences taking place or who has other information and has not yet spoken to police should call 101, giving the reference 6604/30OCT.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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