London

'Heil Hitler' men attack Jewish shoppers, activists claim

Gas cannisters used in the alleged attack Image copyright Shomrim
Image caption Three Jewish shoppers were allegedly pelted with small gas canisters

Three Jewish shoppers in north London have been pelted with gas canisters by men in a pickup truck shouting "Hitler is on the way", local activists have said.

The incident, which allegedly took place on Wednesday at 19:45 GMT at Tottenham Hale Retail Park, has been reported to the Metropolitan Police.

Jewish security patrol Shomrim said it was called by one of the victims.

A spokesperson said the victims were not injured but "quite shaken".

The men in the truck shouted "Heil Hitler" as they threw small gas refill canisters at the victims, the spokesperson said.

A Met Police spokesperson said officers were called on Wednesday evening by a man alleging he was the victim of an anti-Semitic remark.

They have yet to meet the alleged victim to discuss what happened.

Shomrim volunteer Michael Blayer said: "This behaviour is appalling, the victims were innocent shoppers at the Tottenham Hale Retail Park, and they were targeted because they were visibly Jewish.

"The verbal abuse was disgusting, and small objects were thrown towards the victims, making them fear for their immediate safety."

Shomrim is a group of volunteers which aims to make people feel more secure in areas of north London with large Jewish populations.

Anti-Semitic offences in London

November 2014 - November 2015

483

total crimes

38%

more than the previous year

  • 122 in Hackney - the highest number of offences

  • 118 in Barnet, north west London

  • 39 in Westminster

  • 28 in Haringey, where Tottenham Hale Retail Park is located

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Police figures show an increase in anti-Semitic crime in London in 2015, with 184 more anti-Semitic offences between November 2014 and November 2015 than the previous year.

But anti-Semitic crime is still "comparatively rare", according to the Met, accounting for 0.07% of all crimes committed in London in the same period.

Percentage change in a comparatively rare crime type can often be volatile, a spokesperson added.

She said: "The number of anti-Semitic offences in the month of November 2015 was 53% lower than in November 2014."

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