Police probe swastika daubed in Bristol on Yom Kippur

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Police probe swastika daubed in Bristol on Yom Kippur

Israel's president Reuven Rivlin weighs in after Nazi symbol spotted in neon paint, as Jewish resident speaks of 'deep upset and anxiety' at the incident

Swastika daubed on a car in Bristol (Credit: Nick Helfenbein)
Swastika daubed on a car in Bristol (Credit: Nick Helfenbein)

A Jewish resident of Bristol has spoken of “deep upset and anxiety” after a swastika was daubed on his neighbour’s car on Yom Kippur.

The symbol appeared in neon graffiti on Monday and is being investigated by Avon and Somerset Police, who “do not believe this to have been deliberate targeting due to race or religion”.

In a statement, they told Jewish News: “We received a call from a third party on Monday 28 September to reports of suspected criminal damage to a car in the Waters Road area of Bristol.”

Officers have taken action to try to ensure the offensive symbol is removed from public view and are continuing to try to establish who is the individual, or individuals, responsible.”

Supt Andy Bennett, the force’s lead on hate crime, said: “We take all reports of this nature very seriously and will not tolerate such unacceptable actions. There is no place for offensive acts like this in any of our communities.

“Following this incident we approached the Jewish Community Safety Trust who are satisfied that we’re dealing with this in a correct and proper way.

“However, although our investigation into this incident is at an early stage, we’d like to reassure people that we do not believe the owner of the vehicle or anyone else was deliberately targeted on the basis of their race or religion. This follows conversations with people in the area and the owner of the car.

“Regardless, we will continue to investigate this hate crime and ask anyone with information is asked to call 101 and give the call-handler reference number 5220221077.”

It was reported by Nick Helfenbein, who said: “We woke up to our neighbour’s car tagged with a giant neon Swastika. It’s Yom Kippur, and this makes me sick both as a Jew and as a human”.

“This is the holiest day of the #Jewish year, and to have a swastika suddenly appear right across the street from our flat, in #Bristol of all places, is absolutely harrowing.”

Adding that he has Holocaust survivors in his family, he said: “This causes deep upset and anxiety.”

In an unlikely intervention, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin weighed in, taking to Twitter to condemn the “shocking sight of rising Antisemitism – a swastika sprayed on a car on Yom Kippur in Britain yesterday.

“Words of condemnation are not enough. We need Holocaust education and remembrance so governments and societies everywhere actively challenge this threat to Jews.”



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: