Stamford Hill assaults: Suspect may have Yorkshire accent

A police hat and vest.

Met Police made an appeal - Credit: Metropolitan Police

An unidentified man, wanted by police in connection to a series of unprovoked assaults on Jewish people, might not be local to Hackney and may speak with a northern accent. 

The investigation to trace the man continues at pace as detectives from the Central East Command Unit conduct extensive enquiries following the shocking incidents, which are being treated as hate crimes and all occurred on August 18.

The spate of assaults on August 18 include a 30-year-old man who was struck on the head with a bottle in Cazenove Road at 6.41pm. He sustained no injuries. 

Less than an hour later, at 7.10pm a 14-year-old boy was walking in Holmdale Terrace when he was approached and assaulted without warning. Police reported that the teenager sustained no lasting injuries. 

Later that day, at about 8.30pm on Stamford Hill, at the junction with Colberg Road, a 64-year-old male was struck in the face.

He suffered facial injuries and fell to the floor, breaking a bone in his foot. He was taken to hospital for treatment and was later discharged.

Officers have also been informed of a fourth and fifth victim who have yet to contact police. Enquiries to speak to them are ongoing.

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As part of a renewed appeal officers attended multiple synagogues and mosques in the Stamford Hill area on Friday (August 27) to hand out appeal leaflets featuring the man's image, while CCTV and forensic work is ongoing. 

Officers report they are drawing on resources from across the Met in a determined effort to identify the man, and have also been working closely with senior figures from both the local Jewish and Muslim communities, who have been united in condemnation of the man’s actions.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Yasmin Lalani, senior investigating officer, said: “The attacks have caused considerable shock and concern from both communities, and we have been working closely with prominent members in a common effort to find the man pictured.

“All of the victims reported that the man approached without warning and assaulted them before quickly leaving. He is not reported to have said anything. We retain an open mind behind the motive but the reported incidents are being treated as hate crimes."

DCI Lalani added that the suspects pattern of behaviour is "very unusual and concerning" and said police are doing everything they can to trace him. 

"We are working to get in touch with them to obtain a statement," the Detective Chief Inspector said. 

Police have released another image of the man, captured in Cazenove Road, and they suspect he is not local to the area and may have been visiting.

Following a thorough review of CCTV footage, officers have established that the man stayed at a hostel on Seven Sisters Road in Hackney between August 17-19.

Feedback from Jewish and Muslim communities so far indicates that the man has not been seen locally before.

DCI Lalani said “We have recovered some CCTV capturing an apparent interaction between the man and shop staff in Seven Sisters Road which appears to indicate that the man may speak with a northern accent – possibly Yorkshire.

“While this is a very new development, I am urging communities in those areas to look closely at the pictures we have released, which are of very good quality, and tell us immediately if they recognise the man.”

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, president of Shomrim North and East London, said: "Shomrim is working full-out to facilitate the arrest of the perpetrator of the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks."

"This is in addition to our ongoing efforts, B'Ezras Hashem, to enhance the security of all people in our neighbourhood with extra patrols and measures to deter such incidents in the future.

"The Muslim community in Hackney stands together with the Jewish community. The enduring friendships and great working relationships should never be underestimated. These will definitely continue, whatever challenges are faced."

Anyone who recognises the man, or who witnessed any of the assaults and is yet to speak with officers, is asked to come forward.

Please call police on 101 quoting reference 4492/20AUG. To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.