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Police hunt 'race hate' vandals desecrating Jewish graves

PUBLISHED: 22:52 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:10 05 October 2010

A POLICE forum on 'race hate' crime has this week condemned the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in East London. The vandalism in which 40 gravestones were pushed over at Plashet cemetery has been classified as a 'religiously motivated' crime

By Ted Jeory

A POLICE forum on 'race hate' crime has this week condemned the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in East London.

The vandalism in which 40 gravestones were pushed over at East Ham's Plashet cemetery has been classified as a 'religiously motivated' crime.

Some graves were even smashed, while decorative figures were removed from others in the Saturday night rampage on March 29. Police are appealing for witnesses.

"We are treating this as a religiously motivated crime," said Det Sgt Gerry Healy.

"It's shocking to think anyone would deliberately damage a burial site and cause so much distress to families."

The Metropolitan Police Race Hate crime forum this week condemned the desecration.

Its chairman Peter Herbert said: "This is not the first time Plashet cemetery has been hit by such vile attacks.

"This deliberate act affects the relatives of the dead whose gravestones and tombs have been desecrated.

"It impacts on the entire Jewish community.

"Those responsible must be tackled quickly to demonstrate our commitment to erasing such acts in London."

Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious at the cemetery behind High Street North on March 29 to contact Newham community support unit on 020-7275 5736, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.

ted.jeory@archant.co.uk

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