Woman claims complaint about swastika in Star of David was dropped by police 'because she isn't Jewish'

8 April 2024, 05:55 | Updated: 8 April 2024, 07:56

The complaint took place in Scotland
The complaint took place in Scotland. Picture: Alamy/Facebook

By Kit Heren

A woman has claimed that a complaint she made to the police about a swastika shown within a Star of David was not followed up by police because she is not Jewish.

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The image, which is also said to bear the caption 'Nazism = Zionism', was reported to the police last week under Scotland's new hate crime laws.

The laws criminalise material that a "reasonable person" would consider "likely to result in hatred being stirred up against a group".

A comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany is considered anti-Semitic under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition. Scotland signed up to that definition in 2017.

Read more: Police Scotland hit with almost 4,000 complaints in first 48 hours of Humza Yousaf's new hate crime law

Read more: Shocking moment Met Police officer says ‘swastikas need to be looked at in context’ at pro-Palestine march in London

How is displaying a swastika at a pro-Palestine protest not anti-Semitic, asks Ben Kentish

The woman, a former police officer herself, told Mail Online that Police Scotland told her they were "snowed under" with complaints under the new laws.

She said that a police officer asked her: "Can I ask you, are you Jewish?' I said no. He said, 'I'm going to ask you again; it's just because I need the box ticked. Do you identify as being Jewish?' I said 'no, I'm not going to lie to get anybody charged.'

"He said, 'Well, that falls outwith the parameters. It won't be moving forward as a crime. It will be logged as an incident, but it will not be going further criminally'."

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Russell Findlay said: "This vile anti-Semitic post appears to be a genuine crime motivated by hatred and which would therefore merit an appropriate policing response.

'Swastikas need to be taken in context' video is taken out of context, say police

"It is deeply concerning if such cases are being lost amidst the vast deluge of spurious complaints being made to police from those who are weaponising Humza Yousaf's hate crime law."

The person who posted the image is said to be a relative on an SNP minister.

Sammy Stein of Glasgow Friends of Israel said: "In the current climate, many Jewish people will be afraid to make complaints in case they have to give evidence in court and are identified.

"So it is important that Police Scotland takes seriously and investigates anti-Semitism no matter who brings it to their attention.

First Minister Humza Yousaf brought in the new hate crime law
First Minister Humza Yousaf brought in the new hate crime law. Picture: Alamy

"The law itself makes no distinction. I do not think for a minute Police Scotland is being partial, but I wonder whether, with the weight of complaints, a rather amateurish attempt has been made to get rid of some."

Police Scotland said it could not comment on the woman's complaint.

The force was flooded with nearly 4,000 complaints in the first two days of the hate crime law coming in.

It comes after a Met police officer caused controversy by telling a protester that a swastika needed to be "taken in context".

Police confirmed that no disciplinary proceedings were launched into the officer. The force also confirmed that the man who was carrying the placard was arrested.

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