Councillors, officers, the police and key partners are united in expressing their solidarity with the Israeli people following the attacks at the weekend.
We are working in partnership with the Community Security Trust (CST) to ensure that our communities within the Synagogues, schools and residents of Hertsmere feel safe. Now is the time to come together with our Jewish communities to show our support, compassion and to enhance community relations in our own borough.
The police will be increasing patrols across the borough as part of a reassurance plan. 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 the police.
Leader of the Council and the Labour Party, Councillor Jeremy Newmark, said: "Hertsmere is home to one of the UK’s largest Jewish populations. I’m incredibly proud of the way in which colleagues from across the political spectrum and beyond have reacted to reassure our community that we will not allow the politics of hatred spill over onto our streets.
"Now is the time for solidarity, for supporting the victims and to bolster community relations in our own borough. Together we mourn the victims, pray for the return of those in captivity, send the strongest possible message of solidarity to Israel and continue to work together to oppose those who seek to import this conflict into our borough."
Member of Parliament for Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden, said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel and all those who have loved ones there.
"I know the Jewish community across Hertsmere will be deeply affected by the barbaric events unfolding and will also fear for their safety in and around the borough. I will continue to work alongside key partners, including Hertfordshire Constabulary to establish sufficient police presence in the area and to ensure that members of our Jewish community feel safe and supported."
Deputy Leader of the Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Paul Richards, said: "We express heartfelt thoughts to residents; their friends and families affected by the attacks and stand together in unwavering support for the local Jewish community at this most distressing time."
Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Morris Bright MBE, said: “These are deeply troubling times and, as we have done in the past, I know that Hertsmere will come together in a strong display of unity and reassurance for our Jewish communities, many of whose members have relatives and friends in Israel, and indeed seek to support and comfort everyone who has been deeply affected by what they are seeing and hearing as these appalling events continue to unfold."
Hertsmere Chief Inspector Mark Bilsdon, from Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “We know that the community will be feeling concerned at the moment and I hope that you feel reassured by our support. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are ever the victim of a hate crime. We have dedicated Hate Crime Officers who will give you extra support every step of the way.”
If you feel you have been a victim of a hate incident, there are many ways to report it:
• You can report to the police or contact your local Hate Crime Officer, call 101 or go online at www.herts.police.uk/report. In an emergency always call 999.
• You can report online at the True Vision website: www.report-it.org.uk
• In Hertfordshire, we also have third party reporting centres where you can give details of what has happened to you. They will pass the details onto the police. You can also report anonymously.
For more information, please visit www.hertsagainsthate.org
In the first instance, you must report incidents to the police and then CST using their 24-hour National Emergency Number on 0800 032 3263.
The council will be represented at this evening’s vigil at Downing Street in London by a number of members, including Cllr Rebecca Challice, Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council.
Posted on Monday 9th October 2023