Two teens arrested over swastikas daubed in Borehamwood
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Two teens arrested over swastikas daubed in Borehamwood

Police detain two after spate of antisemitic vandalism, with councillor Jeremy Newmark saying 'residents have been shocked and shaken by this shameful incident'

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Swastikas daubed on garages in Borehamwood
Swastikas daubed on garages in Borehamwood

Two teenagers suspected of arson and daubing swastikas in Borehamwood have been arrested by police.

Councillor Jeremy Newmark reported the offensive symbols found in multiple locations on Monday evening, including on The Campions, Retford Close and Sawtry Way.

Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Police were called at around 8pm on Monday 21 September to report that two men were acting suspiciously near a van in Stapleton Road, Borehamwood.”

Officers attended and discovered the van had been broken into and a small fire had been started nearby.”

Graffiti was also discovered on a number of garages and vehicles in the area.”

A 18-year-old man from Borehamwood was arrested on suspicion of arson, criminal damage to a vehicle, racially aggravated criminal damage, going equipped, interference with a motor vehicle and burglary (non-dwelling).”

A 16-year-old boy from Borehamwood was arrested on suspicion of arson, interference with a motor vehicle, criminal damage, burglary (non-dwelling) and racially aggravated criminal damage.”

The police said the suspects have been bailed while enquiries continue.

Swastikas daubed on a park bench in Borehamwood (Credit: Jeremy Newmark)

The swastikas were daubed alongside Stars of David on a park bench and on garage doors, with the tag ‘Azza’.

The graffiti has now been cleared off, following evidence-gathering by police.

Local authority cleaned the bench previously vandalised with swastikas (Credit: Jeremy Newmark.

Newmark said he was “appalled to receive multiple reports from concerned residents about a spate of antisemitic graffiti on Council garages and street furniture in and around that area.” He added: “Together with other Ward Councillors I’ve previously called for action on the growth of antisocial behaviour around this lovely neighbourhood.”

Speaking to Jewish News, he added that “many residents have been shocked and shaken by this shameful incident”, thanking officials “for their incredibly swift response in ensuring the daubings were removed as soon as police had concluded their investigations.”

Dave Rich, Director of Policy for the Community Security Trust said: “We are aware of this appalling graffiti and we are speaking to Police to confirm details of the arrests. We are pleased that the Police have acted so quickly and hope this sends a signal that antisemitic hate crime will not be tolerated.”

In 2017, Borehamwood officially overtook Stanmore as Britain’s biggest Jewish community.

Rabbi Alex Chapper, Senior Rabbi of Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue said: “To come out of an uplifting Rosh Hashanah to discover this cowardly graffiti attack is deeply upsetting. The Borehamwood Jewish community has good relations with the wider community and this makes it even more distressing. We are pleased the police have acted so quickly and arrested two suspects. Both Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue and I are available for anyone to talk to who has been affected by this incident.”

 

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