Antisemitic graffiti outside Leeds synagogue sparks police probe

Police have launched an investigation after antisemitic graffiti was painted on a sign outside a synagogue in north Leeds.

A swastika symbol with the word “Kikes” was sprayed or daubed onto a sign at the front entrance of the Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley overnight and was discovered this morning.A post on social media suggested that there is other similar antisemitic graffiti daubed on the pavement outside the gate.The Community Security Trust, a charity working against antisemitism and racism in British society, said in a statement: “CST is working closely with Etz Chaim Synagogue and with the Police regarding the antisemitic graffiti that was discovered on the property this morning."As you might expect, such vile graffiti in a prominent location in the heart of the Jewish community has caused widespread upset and concern.”

A message on the North-West Friends of Israel Twitter site read: "This happened in Leeds last night. Whether it's left wing or right wing anti Semitism it's abhorrent.”

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A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "At 8:41am today, police received a report of anti-Semitic graffiti at the Etz Chaim Synagogue, in Harrogate Road, Leeds.

"Officers attended the scene and a hate crime has been recorded and is under investigation.

"Officers from the Outer North East Neighbourhood Policing Team are aware of the incident and are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure the community and are liaising with key representatives.

"The incident is believed to have happened overnight. Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the Outer North East team via 101 quoting crime number 13170471135 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."