Saturday September 18, 2021

London ups police presence as four held for ‘anti-Semitic abuse’

May 18, 2021

LONDON: More police will be deployed to the streets of Jewish areas in London, mayor Sadiq Khan said on Monday, after four people were arrested for allegedly shouting anti-Semitic abuse and threats during a pro-Palestinian protest.

“There are a number of things we are doing to reassure Londoners, particularly those from Jewish communities,” Khan told ITV, as he announced an “increased police presence”.Officers investigating a video circulating on social media, which appeared to show anti-Semitic abuse being shouted from a car in north London on Sunday, made four arrests. The car was travelling in a convoy of vehicles decorated with Palestinian flags, one of several protests held across Britain over the weekend in response the worst violence in years between Israel and Palestinians.

The men were detained on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. “This behaviour was utterly shocking and will not be tolerated,” said Superintendent Jo Edwards. “I understand that this would have caused considerable concern within the community.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was “no place” for anti-Semitism in Britain. “Whenever there is tension in the Middle East and violence it can spill over into our city,” said Khan.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the incident as “utterly disgusting”.“Anti-Semitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society,” he said. “There must be consequences.”

Scotland Yard said four men were arrested after a car was stopped at around 6.30pm on Sunday. A statement said: “Police received reports of people shouting anti-Semitic abuse from a car travelling within a convoy of vehicles through the St John’s Wood area on the afternoon of Sunday May 16.

“Enquiries were carried out and officers traced a car to the A40 in Hillingdon. The police helicopter was deployed and officers stopped the car at approximately 18.30hrs. “Four men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. They were taken into custody at a west London police station where they remain.”

The incident comes after thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to the gates of the Israeli embassy, while protests took place in other cities across the UK and Ireland in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict. Since Monday night, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.