Stamford Hill: Two north London Jewish schools covered in red paint - Met treating as hate crimes

Video footage had been circulating on social media appearing to show red paint being thrown at a building.
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Two north London Jewish schools have been covered in red paint, with the Met Police treating both as hate crimes amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for the police said officers attended a school on Lordship Road at 9am this morning (October 16) after reports red paint had been thrown onto the building. They were told by a member of staff the incident took place on October 12, at 6.51am.

An identical incident was also reported at a second school, in Woodberry Down. The spokesperson said the Met is investigating whether they are linked.

Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway, who leads policing in Hackney and Tower Hamlets said: “We have had extra police patrols in the area since the attacks in Israel to provide reassurance. We are working closely with our partners in the Community Security Trust (CST), the Shomrim, Hackney Council and other key local partners.

“These incidents will be robustly investigated and we have been clear that we have a zero tolerance for hate crime.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police by calling 101, and using the reference CAD5621/15OCT23 for Lordship Road, or CAD 4143/16OCT23 for Woodbury Down.

The Met said it is investigating whether the paint thrown at the two north London Jewish schools is connected. Credit: Shomrim. The Met said it is investigating whether the paint thrown at the two north London Jewish schools is connected. Credit: Shomrim.
The Met said it is investigating whether the paint thrown at the two north London Jewish schools is connected. Credit: Shomrim.

The Met’s comments come after video footage had been circulating on social media appearing to show red paint being thrown at a building.

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch group in north-east London, wrote on X that it is escalating its patrols and advocating for an increased police presence following the incidents.

A spokesperson for the group told LondonWorld: “The Shomrim hot-line has been ringing off the hook. We are taking hundreds of calls a day from scared members of the community reporting hate crime and suspicious activity, as well as asking things like, 'is it safe to go to school or synagogue'".

On Friday, four Jewish schools in north London had to shut due to concerns over safety. One school had previously announced it would be allowing students to hide their badges again over fears of attacks.

Since Hamas’ attack on Israel on the morning of October 7, more than 1,400 Israelis and over 2,700 Palestinians have been killed. At least six British people are among those dead, prime minister Rishi Sunak said in the House of Commons earlier today, and 10 remain missing.

Spiritual leaders in London have been among those calling for a de-escalation of the crisis. Rabbi Herschel Gluck, chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum and chairman and founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, told LondonWorld: “We need to act in a way that will de-escalate the situation.

“It’s been extremely traumatic, extremely painful to see the mass slaughter of Jewish people but the violence and the cycle of violence is deeply worrying.

“We need to find a way forward to stop the bloodshed, to stop the violence, to step by step create a better future. At times like this it’s very difficult to achieve.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan has also said he will take a “zero tolerance approach” to hate crime in the capital, and that perpetrators will feel “the full force of the law”.

“I am acutely aware that these events have left Jewish Londoners feeling shaken and fearful. In fact, I’m yet to meet a single Jewish Londoner who hasn’t been affected,” he said at Mayor's Question Time last week.

“As well as Jewish Londoners, there are also many Palestinian, Muslim and Christian Londoners who are deeply worried about the safety of friends, family and loved ones.”