Family living in fear after hate attacks

An Israeli family living in Edgware say they fear for their safety after being subjected to a campaign of antisemitic abuse by their neighbours.

Police are investigating a number of incidents reported by the 38-year-old man and his wife since they moved to the Broadfields estate six years ago. The couple, who have five children, are too scared to be named. In the latest incident, their car, parked outside their ground floor flat, had its window smashed last Tuesday.

The father, a GP, said: “Children scream at us but I think there must be someone behind them. Because why would children decide Jews are bad people?”

Days before the attack on the vehicle, the father said he had been followed by a gang shouting: “Hello Jew, we know your car”.

In February, a gang of 10 boys threw snowballs at him and screamed antisemitic insults. One of his daughters was told: “When the snow falls, Jews will die”.

Following the snowball attack the family flagged-down a passing policeman on patrol in the area.

“It’s very stressful,” the father said. “A year ago we contacted the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team and they kept things calm for a while, but now the problems are coming back. We do not want to move just because of this, but I cannot protect myself and my family. Someone needs to stop this abuse now. After so many incidents it is hard to live with.”

A Community Security Trust spokesman said: “This is clearly a distressing matter for the family, and we have discussed it both with them and the police.

“We sincerely hope that the police investigation will help to end this bullying and intimidation.”

Barnet police said officers from Edgware Safer Neighbourhoods Team run dedicated Shabbat patrols around local synagogues and would be stepping up patrols near the family’s home.

Two youths have been arrested in relation to an incident of racial abuse and have been given police bail until later this month.

    Last updated: 2:26pm, July 22 2009