Search

Stamford Hill ‘beware of Jews’ artist ‘incredibly irresponsible’ – police commissioner

PUBLISHED: 10:07 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 17 March 2017

This sign appeared in Clapton Common. Picture: @Shomrim

This sign appeared in Clapton Common. Picture: @Shomrim

Archant

A police commissioner has slammed the artist who put up a sign in Stamford Hill apparently warning people to “beware of Jews”.

The fake road sign in Clapton Common – yards from a synoagogue – was reported to police on Tuesday by neighbourhood watch group Shomrim and torn down by Hackney Council.

It depicted the silhouette of an orthodox Jewish man, in an area with 30,000 members of the Charedi group – one of the UK’s largest ultra-orthodox Jewish communities.

But Franck Allais then came forward to say he had put it there as part of an art project, and had placed 27 around London in total with different silhouettes on them.

He has also been interviewed under caution after turning himself into police on Wednesday. He was not arrested.

And Surrey chief David Munro, the national lead for equalities, diversity and human rights, has now called his act irresponsible.

He said: “I was dismayed with the true lack of thought given by the artist for the distress this could cause to those of Jewish backgrounds.

“The work of Mr Allais is incredibly irresponsible. The location and connotations of the sign was undoubtedly going to cause alarm and offence and he simply should have known better.”

Last year the local neighbourhood watch group Shomrim published statistics revealing the everyday abuse they suffered, with 38 reports of hate crime in one month alone.

Shomrim supervisor Barry Bard said: “The sign has caused a lot of concern amongst local Jewish residents, especially as it’s in such close proximity to a synagogue.”

Hackney’s crime chief Cllr Caroline Selman said: “The council has had to remove several pieces of anti-Semitic graffiti in recent months, so it is entirely understandable that residents were offended by the sign.

“We take reports of hate crimes extremely seriously so if any residents find any kind of anti-Semitic signs or graffiti they should immediately report them to the police on 101.”

Latest Hackney News Stories

11:13

“Pinball Geoff” Harvey has been dealing in pinball machines for decades – and when he’s not doing that he’s drumming around Hackney with Mexican surf group the Bikini Beach Band.

CCTV has been released of the moment a prisoner made his escape from Homerton Hospital in his socks, being chased by a medic and the police officer who was supposed to be guarding him.

09:52

An ensemble of young singers from across Hackney is looking to swell its membership following a stellar performance at the Music for Youth National Festival in Birmingham.

Yesterday, 17:47

It’s just as likely that you know Rev Sue Makin from social media as from St Mary of Eton in Hackney Wick. She tells Emma Bartholomew how the church can be an ‘unshockable’ listening ear

Yesterday, 11:58

Bike tracks could be installed along Wick Road as part of Hackney Council’s plans to make the borough safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Yesterday, 10:24

A controversial late-night levy for traders selling booze after midnight is set to be voted on tomorrow night by Hackney councillors.

Yesterday, 09:03

A derelict Art-Deco cinema in Stoke Newington Road will reopen as a theatre and music venue after police backed down over capacity demands.

Yesterday, 07:00

An academic programme for former Chelsea FC players making the transfer away from football as part of an ‘aftercare’ scheme is being set up by the Institute for Sport Business at its Hackney Wick campus.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Now in its 11th year, Field Day is bringing together an exceptional mix of artists and genres once more to an east London park.