A vandalism attack at a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England is being treated by police as a hate crime.
Three separate chapels at Philips Park Jewish cemetery in Whitefield were damaged, two stained-glass windows were smashed, several sinks were damaged, and the cemetery surveillance system was stolen, the Manchester Evening News reported.
In addition, dozens of headstones reportedly were damaged and the grave of a prominent Manchester rabbi was smashed open, according to reports.
The attack happened sometime between Friday afternoon and the early hours of Saturday, police told the Manchester newspaper.
Today, the Jewish cemetery in Whitefield, Manchester was vandalised and graves were smashed. These cowards picking on the dead trashed the place. This is a horrible act of antisemitsm. pic.twitter.com/144tAIQIHZ
— Shmuli Brown (@UniRabbi) February 9, 2019
The damage will cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. A crowdfunding page set up in the wake of the attack raised more than $9,000 in the first 17 hours.
“We are treating this incident as a hate crime and I want to send a clear message that incidents of this nature will never be tolerated in our communities,” Superintendent Paul Walker, from Greater Manchester Police’s Bury division, said in a statement. He said the police are working with the Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism.