A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and administering a noxious substance, after allegedly carrying out a pepper spray attack at a shul in Golders Green. 

Police detained a 30-year-old on Sunday, after going through CCTV footage following the incident over the weekend. 

The suspect immediately fled the scene, though the incident isn’t believed to be racially motivated.

The synagogue was initially shut as police investigated the crime scene, and later reopened for afternoon services.

A spokesperson for the police told Jewish News, they “were alerted at 12.58hrs on Sunday 19 November to reports of an altercation at a synagogue in Golders Green Road. London Fire Brigade also attended.

When officers arrived, they found a man in his 60s suffering from the effects of being sprayed with an unidentified substance. Tests will be carried out to establish the nature of the substance, but it is believed it to be CS gas.

The man in his 60s was taken to hospital by a community ambulance, where he currently remains having tests. His condition is not life threatening, and not believed to be life changing.

The parties are believed to be known to each other and anti-Semitism has been ruled out as a motive.

The suspect had left the scene after the altercation prior to police arrival. A man aged in his 30s was arrested later on 19 November, on suspicion of assault and administering a noxious substance.”

The Community Security Trust told Jewish News: “CST has been in discussion with Police regarding this and we believe it is not a matter of wider concern.”

A spokesperson for Shomrim North West London told the Jewish News: “Shomrim were called today at 12:55pm that a male suspect had sprayed what was thought to be pepper spray in the synagogue in Golders Green. The caller explained the suspect had fled immediately from the scene using a vehicle. Police and Hatzola ambulance service were called immediately to assist a victim who was sprayed in the face. The Synagogue was immediately evacuated by Shomrim and Hatzola volunteers. Barnet Police sealed off the Synagogue and declared the premises an active crime scene. Shomrim volunteers are assisting Barnet Police with the enquiries and the gathering of witness statements and CCTV footage. From enquiries thus far the incident is not considered to be racially motivated.”