A Jewish man has been left shaken after a Metropolitan Police Service operator graded an ongoing antisemitic attack as a “low priority” because he did not speak Arabic.
The man was running in Finsbury Park at approximately 6:00 this morning when another man described only as having “dark skin” allegedly started shouting at him aggressively in Arabic. The victim asked the man who had shouted what he was saying, to which he reportedly responded “I was saying ‘Good morning’ in Arabic.”
Shortly afterwards, as the Jewish man continued to run, he allegedly saw the same man running towards him, shouting wildly in Arabic. The Jewish man ran towards his car with aggressor in pursuit. He drove a short way up the road and called 999, asking that police come immediately as the suspect was still in the area.
According to Stamford Hill Shomrim, which is assisting the victim, he was told by the police operator that they were giving the incident a “low priority” grading because the victim could not understand Arabic and therefore could not confirm that the abuse was antisemitic in nature. The victim pointed out that he was recognisable as Jewish from his clothing, and that the suspect had not shouted at anybody else, but this was not good enough for the police operator.
The Jewish man waited in his car until he saw the suspect running towards him again, at which point he drove away.
Having spent years exercising in Finsbury Park, the victim no longer feels that it is safe to go there as he expects that he might come across the suspect again, and if he is attacked, he cannot rely on the Metropolitan Police Service to defend him.
This is the third recent report we have received of police officers not being deployed immediately to an ongoing antisemitic attack. Yesterday we learned the the Metropolitan Police Service had failed to send officers to the aid of a 16-year-old Jewish girl who was covered in blood by attackers whom she bravely stood up to, and Kent Police failed to deploy to assist a young Jewish family under attack from a gang of youths hurling stones.
We are increasingly alarmed by police failures to come to the defence of Jews during antisemitic attacks. This incident should have resulted in police officers attending within no more than eight minutes, and the failure of the Metropolitan Police Service to deploy immediately must be investigated thoroughly and transparently. Campaign Against Antisemitism will now be adding this complaint to our letter to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, requesting a full investigation of the decisions not to respond at all or immediately to these incidents.