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Stamford Hill Shomrim ‘helped bring more than half of Britain’s prosecutions for anti-Semitism last year’

PUBLISHED: 14:21 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:37 20 January 2017

Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on pro-active patrol in Stamford Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on pro-active patrol in Stamford Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Stamford Hill’s volunteer group Shomrim helped bring eight convictions for anti-Semitic violence last year – thought to represent more than half the prosecutions for the offence in Britain.

Orthodox Jewish men in Stamford Hill. Picture: Dave Collier/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence CC BY-ND 2.0) Orthodox Jewish men in Stamford Hill. Picture: Dave Collier/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence CC BY-ND 2.0)

The figures come from the neighbourhood watch group’s annual stats report, which also shows other crimes for which volunteers helped bring arrests.

It also reveals Shomrim recorded hundreds of suspected anti-Semitic attacks, including the eight that resulted in convictions, and helped find 31 missing people.

In total, Shomrim helped arrest 136 people last year, predominantly in Hackney and neighbouring Haringey.

“They have delivered some truly outstanding work and been an excellent support to the police at Hackney,” said borough commander Det Ch Supt Simon Laurence.

Volunteers on patrol in Stamford Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock Volunteers on patrol in Stamford Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

“They want to assist with preventing crime and informing us of offenders committing crime as well as bringing to our attention crimes that may have previously gone unreported.”

Although the group have been successful, members of Shomrim are concerned by the hate crime figures. Anti-Semitic incidences in Stamford Hill last year included death threats, a teenager putting lit fireworks into the pockets of Jewish people, and a man yelling to a family, “shame Hitler didn’t kill all you Jews,” before doing a Nazi salute. “The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Stamford Hill is still of deep concern to us,” said Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, the group’s president.

“While we appreciate the authorities dealing with the consequences of anti-Semitism, we would much prefer for these anti-Semitic attitudes not to be there in the first place.”

Gideon Falter, chairman of the national Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said: “The Charedi Jewish community is particularly recognisable and continues to be targeted by anti-Semitic criminals.

Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on pro-active patrol in Stamford Hill Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on pro-active patrol in Stamford Hill

“In 2015 there were 12 known convictions for anti-Semitic hate crime nationwide – so the eight convictions Shomrim secured in 2016 are likely to represent a very large proportion of the total.

“These convictions are hard won: Shomrim’s volunteers patrol day and night, attend crimes, support victims, work closely with police and give testimony in court. They do this without payment and often without praise. Shomrim are without any doubt the gold standard for community policing.”

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