Manchester

Whitefield Jewish cemetery vandalism treated as 'hate crime'

synagogue on Old Hall Lane near the burial ground Image copyright Google
Image caption A cemetery on Old Hall Lane was targeted, police said

Vandalism at a Jewish cemetery is being treated as a hate crime by police.

Three chapels within the cemetery in Whitefield, near Manchester, had been damaged including a prominent headstone, officers said.

Two windows and some sinks were also smashed between midday on Friday and Saturday morning.

CCTV was also stolen by the offenders from a chapel at the Old Hall Lane site "in an attempt to cover their tracks", police added.

Rabbi Shmuli Brown tweeted pictures from the scene on Saturday evening, describing it as "a horrible act of anti-semitism".

He later retracted his remarks, saying the offenders "stole the sinks, pipe work and opened up one tombstone".

Supt Paul Walker, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "We have launched an investigation and whilst the CCTV has been destroyed by the offenders - clearly in an attempt to cover their tracks.

"I understand that this incident will have caused distress to many members of our community and we are working alongside our partners including Community Security Trust to ensure that those affected are fully supported."

He added: "We are treating this incident as a hate crime and I want to send a clear message that incidents of this nature will never be tolerated in our communities."

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