'We look nothing like police' says leader from Golders Green's Shomrim response team
PUBLISHED: 15:22 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:07 19 August 2015
The chief executive of a Golders Green 'guard' force has rejected a claim that its officers look too similar to police.
The Shomrin, an Orthodox Jewish organisation, was praised by Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe at the Chief Rabbi’s conference last month.
But he said of the volunteer force, which patrols areas looking for anti-Semitic crime and anti-social behaviour: “I have to be frank. I would prefer them not to look like my officers. We are having a discussion about that and I am sure we will get to a positive resolution.”
Bur Gary Ost said: “Our uniforms look nothing like the police and are marked from every angle with clear wording saying ‘Shomrim’.
“The commissioner has not made any contact and no discussions have been brought to our attention to date.”
Mr Ost claimed the closure of the Golders Green police station in 2013 had reduced the presence of police cars and officers in the area.
He said: “Our vehicles may look similar to a police vehicle, but we believe that as it drives around during the day and night, it acts as an effective deterrent to those who may wish to commit crime.”
Members of the Shomrim – which means “guard” in Hebrew - are trained by the Met to safely track and detain suspects until police arrive, but have no authority other than the standard citizen’s arrest.
They patrol their area looking specifically for anti-social crime as well as general disorder.