Sadiq Khan to ‘look into’ Chanukah bus attack after police close case

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Sadiq Khan to ‘look into’ Chanukah bus attack after police close case

The Mayor of London says hate crime has a 'chilling impact' on the local Jewish community

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to “find out what happened” after it emerged the Metropolitan Police had dropped investigations into two antisemitic Chanukah attacks.

The Met’s failure find those behind the incidents – in Oxford Street and in West Hampstead – was raised as an urgent issue by both Labour and Conservative members of the London Assembly at Mayor’s Question Time on Thursday.

Labour’s policing lead Unmesh Desai also raised further concerns about a briefing given yesterday by new Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who wrongly described Jewish News exclusive revealing the officers had dropped a probe into the November 2021 bus incident as “inaccurate.”

Conservative London Assembly member Tony Devenish had questioned Rowley on Wednesday as he delivered a briefing to the London Assembly police and crime committee.

On Thursday Desai told Khan:”The commissioner told us yesterday that the police investigation is continuing. It has actually been dropped. This has not helped in the process of building trust.”

The mayor responded by saying:”Hate crime has a chilling effect on the entire community.

“I promise to take this away …I’ll seek to endeavour to find out what happened and write the member and he can make that public.”

Earlier Desai had asked the mayor:”The Jewish community press has told expressed anger for the police dropping the investigation into two appalling antisemitic incidents, one in central London, and one in Golders Green… will you urgently look into this matter and get the Metropolitan Police to respond?.”

Following the Jewish News report on the police decision to drop the Oxford Street probe, the JC revealed a second investigation into aa knife attack in West Hampstead by a man declaring he wanted to “find a Jew to kill”had been dropped due to an alleged lack of resources.

Hammersmith and Fulham councillor Devenish had mentioned last week’s exclusive Jewish News report to the new Met commissioner.

We revealed the Met had dropped their probe into the Chanukah bus following  three appeals for identification of the culprits, who were caught on video.

The Met confirmed they dropped the case back in July saying the appeals had produced no clue to the perpetrators identities.

Devenish told Jewish News:”The Met myst re-open this investigation and catch these evil racists.

“It’s so important to public confidence for all Londoners that antisemitism is never tolerated.”

Home Office hate crime statistics published last week showed another dramatic increase in religiously motivated attacks against both Jews and Muslims across England and Wales.

Desai told Jewish News:”It is imperative that the Met reopens its investigation into these serious antisemitic incidents.

“These investigations are a key part of retaining faith and trust in the Met within our Jewish community in London.

“Such crimes are unacceptable anywhere, but particularly so when they occur in the heart of our city and in the heart of our Jewish community.

“The community has made it clear to us all how important these cases are to them, and as such they should always remain open even if there are evidential issues.

“This week is National Hate Crime Week, highlighting the worrying rise in all forms of hate crime, including antisemitism.

“We must remain steadfast in our fight against hate crime everywhere and foster closer links between the Met and community organisations such as the Community Security Trust, who work tirelessly to protect Jewish institutions across our city.”

Meanwhile, Jewish News, the Jewish Chronicle and Campaign Against Antisemitism announced a £30, 000 reward for anyone with information that helps convict those responsible for the abuse of a group of Jewish youngsters on a hired bus in Oxford Street.

The bounty was issued in response to police saying they had dropped the probe.

Three males were seen approaching the bus, with one seeming to make a nazi salute, while others swore and spat at passengers.



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