A community has reacted in shock and anger after anti-semitic graffiti was sprawled over three fences, including on the walls of a synagogue.

Three separate daubings have appeared, believed to be yesterday or overnight, exclaiming the words ‘Jew’ and ‘Ghetto’ separated by the Star of David, the symbol of Judaism.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says the same graffiti was sprayed on one fence in Porters Park Drive, on a fence at Shenley Chapel, and one on the Chapel wall itself.

The Chapel is home to Shenley United Synagogue, with Hertsmere, the borough Shenley falls within, home to several Jewish communities.

The incident is being treated as religiously aggravated criminal damage, police confirmed.

People have condemned the graffiti describing it as “disgusting”, including Michelle Spevick, who said she was “sickened” by the act.

Ms Spevick, who lives in Shenley, said: “As a descendent of families pretty much wiped out in the Holocaust, I am sickened by this graffiti. I doubt the person who did this feels remorse or shame but they badly need educating. Having happily lived in this lovely, peaceful, warm, and open community for 15 years, I am just so sad at this.

“The graffiti is not representative of the Shenley community where there is a great deal of multicultural respect, support and understanding.”

Cllr Anthony Spencer, who represents Shenley, has called on police to press charges against those responsible.

He said: “I’m quite shocked at this and I hope police do catch the people that did it and would educate them to stop doing it. There should be a reaction from police and I would want them to press charges.

"This is a multicultural area. I’ve lived in Shenley nearly 18 years and never seen anti-semitic daubing of this nature. I regard this as something quite serious. It’s stupid behaviour and has to be addressed and dealt with.”

Hertsmere Labour added: "The party is appalled at the antisemitic graffiti daubed in Shenley over the weekend. We utterly condemn this attack on Hertsmere's Jewish communities, and the shared values of tolerance and inclusion that our borough is renowned for.

"Labour councillors have urged the police to leave no stone unturned in finding those responsible and reiterate our recent request that the borough council executive discuss the growth of antisemitism and hate crime."

The Shenley Park Trust has been informed of the graffiti and is in the process of being removed.

PC Sophie Stalley, from the Potters Bar and Shenley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have received numerous phone calls and emails from people reporting this graffiti and understand that it has caused concern among the local community.

“After officers attended this morning they quickly arranged for the graffiti to be removed and this is being carried out as soon as possible to prevent any further upset.

“All of these incidents are being linked and enquiries are currently on-going.

“Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact police by calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting ISR 137 of January 7 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/Report.