Hate crime probe after bus carrying Jewish teenagers ‘spat at’ on Oxford Street

1 December 2021, 19:41 | Updated: 1 December 2021, 19:42

The footage was obtained by the Jewish Chronicle
The footage was obtained by the Jewish Chronicle. Picture: JC/Twitter

By Emma Soteriou

A hate crime investigation is under way after a video emerged which shows a group of men spitting at a bus full of Jewish passengers celebrating Hanukkah in central London.

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Footage shared on social media showed the men spitting at the bus and "hurling anti-Israel slogans" while it was travelling down Oxford Street at around 8pm on Monday.

People seen in the clip also appear to do the Nazi salute./

In the clip, originally published by the Jewish Chronicle, people on board can be heard saying "we are Jewish" and "we need to go" as the attack continued.

One man can be seen hitting the bus with his shoe while others used obscene hand gestures.

As the vehicle eventually pulled away, another man could be seen running alongside the bus and smashing his arm against the windows.

Two reports of the incident were later submitted to the Community Security Trust (CST) - a charity which monitors antisemitic incidents and provides security support to British Jews.

The open-top bus was full of people, including children, celebrating the first night of the Jewish festival, the charity said.

In a statement, CST said: "London is a city where Jewish people must be able to celebrate our festivals and enjoy an open, confident Jewish way of life.

"This disgusting incident goes against everything this city stands for and should be condemned by all."

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Police have since confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

The Metropolitan Police met the bus at another location after it moved on to "avoid any further confrontation", the force said.

It added: "The group shown in the video could not be located at the time of the incident and there have been no arrests.

"The incident is being treated as a hate crime and officers will be assessing the available evidence to identify any possible lines of enquiry."

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Antisemitism has no place whatsoever in society and I utterly condemn these disgusting acts. No one should have to experience this."

The leader of Westminster City Council, Councillor Rachael Robathan, said: "Deeply disturbing scenes of what appears to be an antisemitic attack against Jewish teenagers in Oxford Street.

"We utterly condemn this scenes and I will be raising this with the Met police. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish community."

Police have urged anyone who recognises the men in the video, or who has any other information, to call police on 101 with the reference 6187/29NOV. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.