Swastika greets shul visitors

A two-foot high swastika was daubed on the front wall of a Manchester synagogue - only hours before a senior policeman and local politicians made an official visit.

The wall at Whitefield Synagogue was defaced in the early hours of Saturday. Shortly afterwards, a special service for Jewish ex-servicemen was held at the synagogue, attended by MP Ivan Lewis, council leaders and the area's police inspector. A barmitzvah was also overshadowed by the incident.

Despite attempts to cover the symbol, news of the daubing quickly spread. Inspector Dave Ryecroft instructed his police officers to use special chemicals to remove the image, but a smudged outline remained.

Describing the incident as "ugly", Inspector Ryecroft says his force have active lines of enquiry. A police spokesman indicated that a suspect has been identified.

Ivan Lewis, the MP for Bury South, praised the community's stoicism: "The barmitzvah boy read his portion and the ex-servicemen's ceremony went ahead. But the fact that you can have a swastika daubed on a shul at the beginning of the 21st century shows that there is no room for complacency in the fight against antisemitism."

Police patrols have been stepped up.

 

    Last updated: 3:46pm, August 17 2009