Leicester Square: Woman 'treated in hospital after antisemitic attack'

Police are treating as a hate crime an incident in Leciester Square, central London, on Sunday.
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The Met Police has launched an investigation into a reported antisemitic attack after a group of Jewish friends reported being accosted in Leicester Square for ‘speaking Hebrew.’

A 28-year-old woman named Tehilla told the Telegraph she and two friends were enjoying a night out when they were attacked by a group of men in the early hours of Sunday morning (January 21).

She said she was “physically attacked” and that she called the Metropolitan Police 10 times “afraid she was going to die” - but that the police did not attend.

She was out with her two male friends, both aged 25, whom she said suffered blows to the head.

Tehilla told the paper Telegraph that she and her friends were speaking Hebrew when the group approached them asking: “Are you Jewish?"

She told the paper: "I said 'yes, I'm Jewish' and then they started chanting 'Free Palestine', and f*** Jews' all this kind of swearing at us.

"So we just tried not to get into trouble, to walk away, but they started following us and then all of a sudden, it started with like two or three guys, and all of a sudden, they called all their friends and 15 to 20 guys started attacking us physically."

Tehilla claims that when she rang the Met and said she and her friends were being attacked because they were Jewish, police "kept saying 'I'm sorry, it takes some time, you are not the only one that called tonight".

The Met Police said it is investigating the attack as an antisemitic hate crime.

Detective Superintendent Lucy O’Connor said: “I know how upsetting such inexcusable violence is for anyone who was injured or who witnessed the incident, and also for the wider community. I share their concerns.

“Officers arrived at the scene some 28 minutes after they were called. Of course, I wish we could have come to their aid sooner.

“The police investigation will now focus on speaking with the woman and any other victims or witnesses, as well as following up all lines of enquiry including analysis of CCTV. I urge any witnesses to get in touch.

“I can assure Londoners, tackling antisemitic crime is a priority for the Met. There is no place for hate in our city.”

The Met Police said it was called to the Leicester Square area at 1.37am on Sunday January 21 to a report of an assault on a woman.

“Officers attended the location, arriving shortly after 2am, at which point all parties had left the scene,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

“We understand that a woman subsequently attended hospital for treatment. The incident is being treated as a hate crime. Officers will speak with the victim to take a statement and identify any other victims and witnesses. A full investigation, which will include analysis of CCTV from the area, will be led by officers from the Met’s Central West BCU.”

No arrests have been made.

Any witnesses, or anyone with footage or other information that may assist police, are asked to call 101, ref 791/21jan.' To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.