The UK-based Campaign Against Anti-Semitism organization announced that two arrests have been made by Kent Police in connection with a May 30th stoning attack on a Jewish family from the Stamford Hill section of London, during their visit to Minster beach on the Isle of Sheppey. Five teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18 hurled rocks at an Orthodox Jewish couple with five daughters between the ages of 8 and 15 as they played along the seashore.
Kent Police arrested two males aged 16 and 18 following an outcry over their failure to deploy officers when the young family called for help. The family was told by the emergency dispatcher that officers would not be attending.
“The 18-year-old man and 16-year-old boy were arrested on 30th May on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offense and have been released pending further inquiries,” Kent Police said in a statement. The arrests were made using footage captured on a smartphone by a member of the family during the attack.
The family had been playing on the beach when two boys and three girls ages 16 to 18 allegedly ran towards them, hurling stones and yelling “Jews!” As the attack continued and the parents tried to shelter their children, the family called Kent Police, but the emergency operator advised them that no officers would be dispatched, despite the assailants remaining at the scene. Instead, they were told that an officer would contact them the following week to “investigate.”
The family cut short their holiday and returned home to London, where they received support from the Stamford Hill Shomrim civil defense patrol instead.
Stamford Hill Shomrim and Campaign Against Anti-Semitism then drew public attention to the incident, sparking an outcry.
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, released a statement criticizing the police force and demanding a review.
Scott met with the Assistant Chief Constable and the Director of Corporate Services to discuss the case, he said. “Kent Police has already reviewed the case, met with the victim, and made two arrests. The investigation remains ongoing. I have asked for the reasons behind the decision not to attend to be investigated – under the police’s threat, harm and risk criteria – and for consideration to be given for the call handing to be independently reviewed.”
The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism watchdog organization has been following the response of the Kent Police closely. “We welcome the intervention of the Police and Crime Commissioner,” the organization said. “The failure of Kent Police to attend the scene of an active anti-Semitic attack is appalling and must be investigated thoroughly.
“Normally, police officers should be deployed to an ongoing incident or an incident where suspects remain on the scene. After years of police failing to charge anti-Semites, and the Crown Prosecution Service failing to charge them, this news of a police force refusing to come to the aid of a young Jewish family under attack is extremely alarming.
“We are pleased that Kent Police are now working hard to identify additional suspects, though it should never have been necessary for them to be pressured to do so.”
Three of the perpetrators have yet to be charged.