Antisemitic assault in Manchester

16 Oct 2009 by CST

Today's Jewish Chronicle reports on an unprovoked racist assault on a Jewish teenager in Manchester last week:

North Manchester police are investigating an antisemitic assault on a 16-year-old boy as he walked home with his family from synagogue on Shabbat.

Witnesses saw one white and one Asian man shouting racist abuse at passers-by from a black car parked on Kings Road in Prestwich.

“They then got out of the car,” said one witness. “I saw one of them smack the boy in front of his mother and two sisters.

“The attacker fell as he punched and, rather embarrassingly, his trousers fell down.”

The car was later seen following two other young Jewish boys.

Police say the victim suffered injuries to his eye and mouth and are treating the incident as racially aggravated.

However, Sergeant Ian Campbell, who co-ordinated local policing over the High Holy-Days, says increased police visibility has generally reduced antisemitic acts.

“Both mine and the CST’s perceptions are that community confidence in the police has been higher this year with fewer incidents.”

 The partnership between CST and Greater Manchester Police over the High Holy Days is further reported in today's Jewish Telegraph (not online).  The JT reports:

Using the codename Operation Picton, the police worked alongside the CST to ensure high visibility on the streets and to enable incidents to be reported promptly without the need to break festivals.

Chief Inspector Carol Martin said: "Operation Picton saw GMP assisting the CST and the community with the co-ordination of security across the sector. The areas we focused on were Salford, North Manchester, Stockport, Trafford and Bury and had joint patrols with the CST and increased visibility in terms of patrolling in the areas. We also had a lot of discussions and planning beforehand with the CST, who are well-geared to handle the holy period."

Operation Picton also included mobile police stations for synagogue-goers to report incidents directly without breaking the festivals, and posters in synagogues to advertise this facility to the community.

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