Police have arrested two teenagers after antisemitic graffiti was daubed over garages and vehicles in Borehamwood.

Officers were called to Stapleton Road at around 8pm yesterday (Monday) to reports of two people acting suspiciously near a van.

When police arrived, they found the van had been broken into and also discovered a small fire which had started nearby.

Graffiti was also discovered by officers in the area including on garages, vehicles, a bollard, and a bench.

The graffiti includes attempts of swastikas, the Star of David - a symbol of Judaism - and other words, tags, and symbols - and it appeared just after Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year.

Borehamwood Times:

Garages were targeted by the vandals

Borehamwood Times:

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK, tweeted that it was aware of the graffiti and that it was in touch with Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Hertsmere Borough Council officers have begun cleaning the graffiti away following police investigations and gathering of evidence.

Borehamwood Times:

The graffiti has been condemned by Cowley Hill councillor Jeremy Newmark, who is Jewish.

Only on Sunday, Cllr Newmark was involved in a shofar blowing at The Campions to mark Rosh Hashanah, but just a day later, The Campions was targeted by vandals.

He said: "It is appalling and shocking. I understand it has made local residents feel vulnerable and it seems to have been targeted in a densely populated Jewish area.

"And it has happened at what is a significant moment in the Jewish calendar and looks to have been designed to cause fear and apprehension."

Cllr Newmark added there have been growing problems in The Campions area but did not know if the graffiti was linked to existing issues.

Borehamwood Times:

Councillor Pervez Choudhury, portfolio holder for community safety in Hertsmere, said: "I am appalled to see antisemitic, racist graffiti appear in Hertsmere overnight.

"Racism and messages of hate have no place in our borough and will not be tolerated.

"As a council we work hard to promote community cohesion and challenge prejudice to make our borough a better place."

Borehamwood Times:

Rabbi Alex Chapper, Senior Rabbi of Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue said: "To come out of an uplifting Rosh Hashanah to discover this cowardly graffiti attack is deeply upsetting.

"The Borehamwood Jewish community has good relations with the wider community and this makes it even more distressing.

"We are pleased the police have acted so quickly and arrested two suspects. Both Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue and I are available for anyone to talk to who has been affected by this incident."

Police have confirmed an 18-year-old man from Borehamwood has been arrested on suspicion of arson, criminal damage to a vehicle, racially aggravated criminal damage, going equipped, interference with a motor vehicle and burglary (non-dwelling).

A 16-year-old boy from Borehamwood was arrested on suspicion of arson, interference with a motor vehicle, criminal damage, burglary (non-dwelling) and racially aggravated criminal damage.

Both remain in police custody at this time.

The antisemitic graffiti in Hertsmere is not an isolated incident with at least three reports in 2019.

Back in January last year, the words 'Jew' and 'Ghetto' were plastered over a fence in Shenley, and five months later, a swastika was painted on a tree in Furzehill Road in Borehamwood.

Borehamwood Times:

A swastika was also daubed on playpark equipment in Moatfield Recreation Ground in Bushey in November.