Swastika graffiti yobs STILL at large

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Swastika graffiti yobs STILL at large

Teen arrested after nine Nazi symbols daubed near Belsize Square synagogue has been released without charge.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Swastika near Belsize Square. Credit: the Board of Deputies
Swastika near Belsize Square. Credit: the Board of Deputies

Police are still hunting for vandals responsible for last weekend’s antisemitic graffiti daubings near a north London synagogue.

Officers initially announced they had arrested a teenager shortly after at least nine swastikas were sprayed at locations close to Belsize Square synagogue on Saturday evening.

But at a briefing on Monday it is understood that officers told communal representatives that the 17-year-old suspect had now been released without charge after being ruled out of the investigation.

Police have now launched a new investigation in an attempt to catch those figures responsible for the crime.

It is understood that police have secured images of possible suspects in the incident from CCTV cameras in the local area.

But sources suggest the suspects were wearing masks and other face covering while carrying out the swastika daubings making identification difficult.

Communal figures told Jewish News they were reassured at how seriously police appeared to be taking the new probe into the incidents.

It has emerged that at least nine  swastikas were found painted on walls in Belsize Avenue and Glenilla Road.

Swastika near Belsize Square. Credit: the Board of Deputies

On Saturday Police said they were alerted to reports of a man spraying swastikas at around 7.40pm. Officers attended and began a search for the suspect.

Initial reports suggested the swastikas were painted on Belsize Square Synagogue, however it was later established that the synagogue itself was not vandalised.

Anyone who witnessed the offences taking place or who has other information and has not yet spoken to police should call 101, giving the reference 6604/30OCT.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

In a statement the Met confirmed a suspect was arrested on suspicion of religiously aggravated criminal damage on Saturday evening.

He was taken into custody and later released under investigation.

“As a result of further enquiries, he has since been told that no further action will be taken against him,” it was confirmed.

“Detectives continue to work closely with the local authority and communities in Belsize Park.”

Swastika near Belsize Square. Credit: the Board of Deputies
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