Police investigate alleged assault during hostage poster clash

Man who challenged removal of Israeli hostage posters says he was victim of ‘hate crime”


Posters of some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza (Photo: from social media)

Police are investigating an alleged assault during an altercation in St John’s Wood over the removal of Israeli hostage posters.

The victim has described the incident, which took place in Circus Road on Friday November 17 around 1pm, as a hate crime, according to the Metropolitan Police.

He was part of a group who “challenged two people who were seen to be removing posters” displaying images of hostages taken from Israel by Hamas, a police statement said.

According to the Met, a single Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who was on patrol, had attempted to defuse the situation.

The PCSO had radioed to the control room “for an officer to attend but those present had left the scene prior to the officer arriving,” the Met said. “It should be noted that PCSOs do not have the power of arrest and do not carry handcuffs.”

Police added that they were “aware of concerns raised by people present about the immediate actions of the PCSO and these are being looked into.

“Our officers and PCSOs regularly deal with challenging and dynamic situations and need to make fast-time decisions. They know their actions will be rightly scrutinised and they will be held to account where appropriate.”

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