Belsize Park swastika graffiti: Teenager released under investigation

swastika graffiti

Antisemitic graffiti was found around Belsize Park on Saturday (October 30) - Credit: Sally Patterson

A teenager arrested after antisemitic graffiti was found in Belsize Park has been released under investigation.

The 16-year-old boy was arrested on Saturday evening (October 30) after at least five swastikas were found painted on walls in Belsize Avenue and Glenilla Road.

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.

Shortly after 8pm, police said they located a 16-year-old boy nearby who was arrested on suspicion of religiously aggravated criminal damage. He was taken into custody.

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

At the time, co-chairs of the Camden Faith Leaders’ Forum Cllr Abdul Hai and Phil Rosenberg said they had been made aware of the graffiti.

They said: "We immediately started working with the local Jewish community and Camden cabinet members who saw to a quick response which led to an arrest and rapid clean-up operation.

"We pay tribute to all involved. As faith communities we stand together against all bigotry in our borough."

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Leader of the Camden Conservatives Cllr Oliver Cooper tweeted: "Our community in Belsize Park and Hampstead has tonight been plastered with seemingly antisemitic graffiti.

"It is an assault on every resident. On all our values. On our society and civility and democracy. We must stamp out this scourge."

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.

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