Police officers and PCSOs have been working closely with Community Security Trust (CST) to prevent antisemitic hate crime and provide community reassurance across Hertsmere.
Hertsmere Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Bilsdon said: “This partnership is especially important during the High Holy days which start tomorrow (Sunday September 29). However, this is business as usual for us. The joint uniformed patrols were introduced last year to help prevent antisemitic hate crime and hate incidents as Hertsmere’s Jewish population is one of the largest in the UK.”
Police patrol Jewish schools and Synagogues across Hertsmere daily, with joint patrols with CST taking place every Saturday.
Enhanced joint patrols take place during Jewish festivals and the High Holy Days in September and October.
Other police forces run similar patrols during High Holy Days. “We are unique in Hertsmere as we run the joint patrols consistently throughout the year,” explained Inspector Bilsdon.
“There is no specific threat in Hertsmere against the Jewish community, in fact we only had a handful of incidents in 2018/2019. However, we hope to prevent antisemitism from occurring and reduce concerns about potential terrorist activity by providing regular, dedicated patrols at key locations.”
The initiative has been running since May 2017, so it is now embedded into daily routine police patrols.
David Delew, CST Chief Executive, said: “CST and our local Jewish community are very grateful to Hertfordshire Constabulary for its help all year round, but especially over the Jewish festival period. The ongoing joint Police and CST patrols in Hertsmere are an excellent example of how we are working together to protect our Jewish community from anti-Jewish racism and terrorism.”
Inspector Bilsdon added: “We really value the support of uniformed CST volunteers who patrol alongside our officers providing advice around religious considerations and help improve our community engagement. Feedback from the Jewish community has been overwhelmingly positive.”