A teenager was arrested after swastikas were found spray-painted on the walls near a synagogue in London, the Metropolitan Police said Saturday.
Officers were alerted that a person was seen daubing the Nazi symbols close to the synagogue in Belsize Park.
Later in the evening the suspect, 16, was arrested on suspicion of religiously aggravated criminal damage.
Swastikas were also found sprayed on other walls in the area, the police said in a statement.
“An investigation is underway to determine if the same person is responsible,” police said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the graffiti.
“Sick to hear about this,” Khan tweeted. “Antisemitism has no place in our city.”
Came home last night to find my north London Jewish neighbourhood a crime scene, with swastikas daubed on every road round the synagogue.
Was in 2 minds about posting, but it's important to document the horror & trauma these symbols inflict on a whole community pic.twitter.com/7yOytABg75
— Luke Turner (@Luke_Turner) October 31, 2021
The Board of Deputies of British Jews tweeted that it had worked with local Jewish communities on the response to the antisemitic graffiti.
“We welcome swift action by all concerned, including an arrest & start of clean up,” the organization wrote.
The Community Service Trust, which focuses on security for the Jewish community, tweeted its thanks to the Metropolitan Police “for swift action in arresting a suspect in connection with swastika graffiti across Swiss Cottage & Belsize Park today.”
The Camden Faith Leaders Forum told the Evening Standard newspaper that as soon as the organization heard of the vandalism, it worked with the local Jewish community and authorities.
“As faith communities we stand together against all bigotry in our Borough,” the forum said.
Images apparently showing the cleaned walls were later shared on social media.
— Belsize Village, London, NW3 (@BelsizeVillage) October 31, 2021
Police asked anyone with further information about the incident to come forward.