Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has confirmed she expects those responsible for “vile antisemitic attacks” on the streets of London during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas to be brought to justice.
Speaking on Monday, the Commissioner said her officers “are working really hard” on the cases and “still have a number of investigations to complete” into the incidents that took place back in May.
She added: “I expect we will be bringing people to justice.”
Amongst the allegations that Dame Cressida confirmed were amongst those still under investigation were “a very offensive placard” and “somebody who was shouting vile abuse as they were driving along.”
This appeared to be a reference to the car-convoy that drove through the streets of north London, with individuals shouting vile abuse at Jewish women.
Dame Cressida was responding to a question from Jerry Lewis, of Israel Radio, who asked about what measures police were taking following the “extraordinary” rise of antisemitic hate crime on the streets of London during the conflict.
She pointedly praised the Community Security Trust as a “world leading organisation” and also praised the capital’s Jewish community who Dame Cressida said the Met were “proud to be protecting.”
“Antisemitic attacks are obviously vile – we all wish they didn’t happen,” added the Commissioner.
“We are working really hard to make sure we get ahead of the problem. ”
Dame Cressida admitted the tensions that erupted during the 11 day long conflict in the Middle East were “very difficult” – but added this had been the case for people in many parts of the world.
She added: “We saw, yes a spike, a high in reported antisemitic crime.
The Met’s leader said that “a fair proportion of reported crime was online” but she said this “does not excuse it.”
She added: “This is one of the things that nowadays accounts for a higher volume of crimes because it’s a relatively easy and obviously cowardly way to perpetrate something.”
Confirming the Met had worked “very hard” not just with the CST, but with other organisations as well “that we didn’t know” to ensure that there were “high profile” police patrols on the streets, on online “particularly during the large scale protests we had in London.”
She said that while most of those attending had been “protesting against Israeli action” she accepted “however of course there were some who were protesting in other directions.”
Dame Cressida added: “Policing those protests was challenging, although the amount of disorder associated with those protests was very much much less than on the last two occasions when tensions had been particularly high in that region.”
Earlier in the briefing to the Foreign Press Association, the Commissioner had said the current national terror level in the UK remained at “substantial” – which means an attack is “still likely”.
It had been downgraded from “severe” in February.
She warned that as lockdown eases there “may be greater opportunities” for terrorists to exploit” the situation.
Dame Cressida said there were currently more than 800 live investigations being conducted by her officers into possible threats to security – with a growing proportion involving those linked to the “extreme right wing.”
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