Man brandishing knives outside Hendon Shul detained

Man brandishing knives outside Hendon Shul detained

Police hold knife-wielding individual under Mental Health Act after sparking security fears outside Toras Chaim synagogue

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Police detaining the man in Hendon, after he brandished knives outside a synagogue
Police detaining the man in Hendon, after he brandished knives outside a synagogue

A man brandishing two knives outside a Hendon synagogue sparked security fears during Saturday morning services.

Toras Chaim synagogue went into lockdown after the incident which congregants initially assumed to be a terrorist-related.

But the Community Security Trust later said the man was not thought to be motivated by anti-Semitism while Scotland Yard stressed he had been detained under the mental health act.

CST said they “called police, helped stop man in possession of two knives; currently not thought to be political or anti-Semitic.”

Video footage emerged on social media of officers forcing their way into another building in Bell Lane and detaining a man wearing only a pair of shorts, before leading him into a police van.

A Met spokesperson said: “Police were called at approximately 11:20hrs on Saturday, 15 July to Bell Lane, NW4 following reports of a man seen in possession of a knife.

“Officers attended and the man was detained under the Mental Health Act before being taken to a north London hospital. There were no reported injuries. This is not being treated as terrorism-related.”

CST chief executive David Delew said: “I want to sincerely thank the CST personnel the commercial security guards, and members of our community for their quick and courageous reactions in very difficult circumstances, confronting the danger: both at the synagogue and then when the man was subsequently detained, prior to his arrest. It now seems clear that this was not an intended attack against our community, but it was a fast moving and dangerous situation for all involved. This is why CST does it’s work and we encourage others to join us in it.”

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