Stamford Hill synagogue attack: Police up north London patrols after video shows gang of men launching apparent 'anti-Semitic' assault

Six men have been arrested, while one man who tried to stop the attackers entering the synagogue was taken to hospital

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The Independent Online

Police have increased patrols in a prominent Jewish community in north London after a video was posted online showing men attacking a synagogue on Saturday night.

Amid heightened concerns about anti-Semitic attacks in Britain and France, the video claimed to show about 20 men trying to enter the Ahavas Torah synagogue in Stamford hill, smashing the windows of the building and shouting abuse.

Scotland Yard confirmed a disturbance took place at around 1.15am, and said the incident was being treated as anti-Semitic.

Six men have been arrested on suspicion of public order offences and assault and remained in custody at midday on Sunday. An appeal has been launched to track down the rest of those involved.

A spokesperson for the Met Police was also able to confirm that a small number of the alleged attackers entered the synagogue and that they were quickly removed by security staff.

One man suffered injuries to his face while trying to prevent the group from getting in the building, and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Police said “remarks made by one of the group” led them to flag the incident up as potentially anti-Semitic, but stressed that there was nothing to suggest it was a planned or targeted attack.

Inspector Jonathan Waterfield said: “We are investigating to establish the full circumstances of the incident and to identify anyone else involved in the disturbance who has not yet been arrested.

“We have also increased police patrols in the Stamford Hill area to provide reassurance to the community.”

The incident comes after an-party parliamentary inquiry warned last month that racist abuse and violence directed at Jewish people in the UK is twice as common now as it was in the 1990s.

The inquiry team, chaired by the Labour MP John Mann recommended the Government set up a fund to help synagogues protect themselves from attack.

At the end of January, the Labour leader Ed Miliband held a public “question time” in northwest London’s Mill Hill which, like Stamford Hill, has a sizeable Jewish population.

Then, he said: “There is a palpable sense of anxiety in the community, that is deeply, deeply troubling.”

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