Knife-wielding 'attacker' forced from North London kosher supermarket 'after demanding staff talk about Palestine'

29 January 2024, 17:15 | Updated: 29 January 2024, 19:55

Police intervened after a man threatened staff at a kosher shop in London
Police intervened after a man threatened staff at a kosher shop in London. Picture: X

By Will Taylor

A man has been arrested after a person wielding a knife was fought off from outside a kosher shop in North London.

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Footage shows a small group of men use a trolley and poles as they try to force off a man wearing a grey hoody and a tracksuit.

He pulls out a blade but one man manages to force him away with a trolley and he leaves.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism group said it was told a man tried to speak to staff about Palestine but was told they did not want to talk about politics.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the store in Hamilton Road, Golders Green, on Monday afternoon and quickly arrested a 34-year-old man.

Shomrim, a Jewish community safety group, also intervened.

Read more: ‘We have heavier hearts’: Holocaust Memorial Day ‘very difficult’ due to rise in anti-Semitism, charity chief says

He was held on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and racially-aggravated affray and is in custody.

Nobody is believed to have been injured. A knife was found at the scene.

The incident is not being treated as terror-related, the Met said.

Read more: UK pauses funding to UN relief agency over 'concerning' claims staff were involved in Hamas' attack on Israel

"I know this incident will cause concern in the community," Inspector Scott Barden-Marshall, of the force's North West London local policing team.

"Officers responded quickly and made an arrest within 10 minutes.

"An investigation is under way to establish the circumstances."

A man with a knife was stopped from entering a kosher shop
A man with a knife was stopped from entering a kosher shop. Picture: X

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said: "We have been told that a man who lives near the kosher supermarket entered the premises and demanded that staff answer his questions about events 'in Palestine'.

"The staff responded that they did not wish to 'talk about politics', at which point the man allegedly brandished a knife.

"Brave staff kept the man at bay using shopping trolleys and called police and Shomrim, who arrived promptly. At this point the man had entered a building and emerged having attempted to change his appearance and donned traditional Muslim garb at which point he was apprehended.

"This incident clearly did not take place in a vacuum. We have repeatedly warned of the dangers of hatred going almost unchecked on the streets of London. Those who have failed in their duty to uphold the law and defend British Jews cannot decry this incident without recognising that they are responsible for creating the perfect environment in which criminal hatred thrives.

The Community Security Trust, a Jewish security charity, said: "CST is aware of an incident involving a man with a knife shouting antisemitic abuse at a kosher shop in Golders Green, north London.

"Police were called and arrested the suspect. Nobody was harmed and the incident is now over. We thank @metpoliceuk for their swift response and urge the community to remain vigilant and alert."

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