The Bushey community has condemned anti-Semitic graffiti that was painted in a children’s play area.
Police are on the lookout for offenders who painted offensive symbols and words, including swastikas, on children’s play equipment at Moatfield Recreation Ground, in Bournehall Lane on Saturday, November 23.
The racist words and symbols are believed to have been smeared on the equipment between 9.30am and 1.25pm, using orange and blue spray paint.
Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, of Bushey United Synagogue, said that while he is “saddened” by the graffiti, he doesn’t believe it is a reflection of the community.
He said: “While it’s incredibly upsetting that this has happened in Bushey, it’s something we’ve seen in other areas of Hertfordshire and I think we have to assume that it’s been done by someone who isn’t from this area.
“No one in our synagogue has ever experienced any problems with other community members here; there’s a real sense of togetherness in Bushey.
“We obviously need to have zero tolerance of any kind of bigotry. The main thing we can do to avoid it is all stay connected and have unity across all religions and beliefs – and keep coming together. The community and our councillors are all very much on the same page.”
Conservative Hertsmere County councillor for Bushey St James, Harry Mortimer, had the graffiti removed the day it was found.
He said: “I stand with the Jewish community in Bushey and the rest of the UK. Racism has no place in our community; I need not draw your attention to the front page of the Daily Mail recently regarding the Chief Rabbi on anti-Semitism.
“Jewish people are standing up against this matter and I, on a local level alongside my other council colleagues, stand with them.”
Hate crime officer PC Andrea Haughton, who is investigating, said: “I am urging any witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch. If you can help, please call the non-emergency number 101 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting crime reference 41/105743/19.”
You can also report information online at herts.police.uk/report or speak to an operator in their Force Communications Room via their online web chat, which can be launched here: herts.police.uk/contact
Alternatively, you can stay 100 per cent anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org