Neighbourhood police officers are carrying out "reassurance patrols" in Hampstead as the Israel/Gaza conflict continues.

Acting Sergeant Jason Vickers told Hampstead's Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting on Tuesday (October 17) that his team would be carrying out the patrols, which he said could be outside businesses as well as synagogues and mosques.

On October 7 the Palestinian militant group Hamas sent fighters across the border into Israel and fired thousands of rockets in an unprecedented strike, which also saw a music festival targeted.

More than 1,000 people were killed and some 150 hostages taken into Gaza.

The Israeli state government retaliated with air strikes on Gaza, killing and injuring thousands.

Acting Sgt Vickers said: "In this area of Camden there's a lot of people that will be affected by the situation in Israel.

"There's a policing plan in place where our Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been taken off day-to-day roles to carry out reassurance patrols."

He said there were two dedicated patrol units, one in Camden and one in Islington, that visits "high risk" areas twice a day.

"If you are aware of anybody who wants a reassurance visit let us know and we will add it to the list," he added. "It looks like mosques and synagogues are where we will be focusing our patrols."

Hampstead Town Conservative councillor Stephen Stark said he had spoken about the issue of Jewish communities in Hampstead to Camden's superintendent Jack Rowlands. "I know you are making fantastic efforts to increase patrols.

"I've asked for the synagogue, where I'm also a member, but also the shops run by Israelis and others in Belsize Park also need protection."

Cllr Linda Chung, Hampstead Town Liberal Democrat, suggested an interfaith group to "provide support for the community".

Acting Sgt Vickers also wanted to reassure the crowd of people at the meeting that other patrols would continue, particularly as the autumn season was turning to "dark nights".

"We're going to start seeing people out and about taking advantage of dark nights."

He said communities might "start seeing thefts from vehicles, particularly in South End Green" and that officers had started doing "letter drops through the front door".

He said the focus was on "crime prevention measures to stop that from happening or deter incidents from happening".

Hampstead Town police constable Felix Copping told the group that there was an "increase in certain crimes involving vehicles" and he would undertake street patrols.

He said thieves liked to work in "small neighbourhoods" especially at night, and urged people not to leave belongings in the back of their car or the boot of their car as it was "tempting for criminals".