Police have launched a manhunt after two arson attacks at kosher restaurants in Manchester in four days.
No one was injured in the incidents which both took place in the early hours of the morning, but officers believe them to be linked and confirmed tonight they are treating them as anti-Semitic hate crimes.
A call for information was issued after the second incident at 3.30am this morning when attackers forced open a window at JS Restaurant in Prestwich before pouring accelerant inside and lighting it. The fire service put the blaze out before any serious damage could be done to the property.
It came after Ta’am Restaurant on Bury New Road was targeted shortly before midnight on 2 June, when two offenders threw a milk carton filled with petrol and a lit rag at the premises. The makeshift petrol container failed to ignite before a large stone was thrown at the front window, causing it to smash.
Detective Chief Inspector Charlotte Cadden of GMP’s Bury Borough said “Thankfully no one was injured in either attack, but we are treating these as anti-semitic hate crimes. This is clearly very worrying for businesses and people living in the area and I want to offer you my assurances that we have increased patrols in the area and have a team investigating these linked crimes
“We are working alongside the Community Security Trust and if anyone in the area has concerns, I would urge you to come and talk to us.
“If you have any information about the attacks, no matter how small, I would urge you to get in touch, as you may have information that could help us.”
Amanda Bomsztyk, CST Northern Regional Director stated “CST thanks the Police and fire service for their response to these incidents. We ask our community to be calm, vigilant and to report suspicious, criminal or antisemitic behaviour to GMP and CST.”
Jewish Representative Council said: “The community will be aware of the recent arson attack, and a previous attempted arson attack, on local Kosher restaurants. We have spoken with senior officers at GMP who are treating this with the utmost seriousness and the community can be assured that a full and thorough investigation will take place. This includes considering it a hate crime based on the perspective of those affected. However, we would stress the importance of people not jumping to conclusions about who was responsible or their motivation.”
The CST have issued guidance to businesses to help secure business premises against terrorism. Anyone having further information that may assist the Police investigation should contact the police on 101 quoting incident number 206-060617 and CST on 0161 792 6666.
In case of any emergency, call Police on 999, followed by CST on 0800 032 3263.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 206 06/06/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.