Met Police step up patrols in London amid reports of people ‘glorifying' attacks on Israel by Hamas

8 October 2023, 08:09 | Updated: 9 October 2023, 08:24

Met Police have stepped up patrols in London.
Met Police have stepped up patrols in London. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The Metropolitan police has said it is increasing patrols in London after receiving reports of people celebrating Hamas’ attacks on Israel.

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In a statement, the force said it had been made aware of a number of incidents - some shared on social media - related to the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

“We are aware of a number of incidents, including those that have been shared on social media, in relation to the ongoing conflict in Israel and the border with Gaza,” the statement read.

“The Met has increased policing patrols across parts of London in order to provide a visible presence and reassurance to our communities.We remain in contact with partners and community leaders to listen to any concerns.

“Anyone who experiences threatening behaviour or is worried about their safety is urged to contact police.

“We are aware that the ongoing conflict may lead to protests over the coming days. We will ensure that an appropriate policing plan is in place in order to balance the right to protest against any disruption to Londoners.”

It comes after Israel’s Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu declared war after the Hamas militant group launched a surprise attack from Gaza which saw the terrorists take both civilian and military hostages.

Read more: ‘We will avenge this dark day’: Netanyahu vows to turn Gaza strongholds ’to rubble’ as Israel seeks to regain territory

Read more: 'We are at war’: Israel vows revenge after Hamas launched major attack on Gaza which killed 150 and saw hostages taken

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick reshared a post from TV presenter Rachel Riley online on Saturday, expressing concern over people ‘celebrating’ in west London over Hamas' attacks on Israel.

Ms Riley wrote: “I just passed two cars in West London driving with Palestinian flags flying from each window, bouncing up and down in their cars, seemingly celebrating like they were having a party.

“Make no mistake, this is a dangerous and terrifying time for all Jews around the world.”

She later shared another post, accompanied by a video, written: “Acton, half an hour ago.

“Popped into a cafe for some baklava with the kids and our Ukrainian friends.

“People have been brutally murdered, kidnapped and there are people in London dancing.

“Just had a reassuring call with the police, if anyone is scared, please call them.”

Mr Jenrick reshared the latter post, as he urged Met Police to intervene, he wrote: “These disgusting people are glorifying the terrorist activities of Hamas, a proscribed organisation.

“There is no place for this in the UK.

“I trust @metpoliceuk will be taking this seriously.”

Reacting to the reports, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan shared in an online statement: “I remain in close contact with senior leadership at the Met and communities across our city. Londoners will see an additional police presence.

“Let me be clear: hate crime in London will not be tolerated.”

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