The Metropolitan Police is “not tackling antisemitism seriously enough” and “needs to change to better serve Jewish communities”, a top Tory London mayoral candidate has said.
Paul Scully, one of the frontrunners to be Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, also said London’s police force “needed to train its officers to understand anti-Jewish racism” and adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
It comes as CST figures revealed half of the 2,255 antisemitic incidents reported in the UK in 2021 were in London, an increase of 33 per cent from the previous year.
The south west London MP, who has served as minister for London and Digital Economy for the last three years, pledged to deliver for Jewish communities in the capital if he became mayor in May 2024.
Outlining his vision for crime, he told the JC there had been “way too many” antisemitic incidents in recent years and said the Met Police must tackle the issue “head on”.
Scully said: “We police by consent so whether you’re from the Jewish community or any other community, if trust in police is waning then we’ve got to do something about it because it starts to thaw quite quickly.
“We need to make sure that police officers in their training have a better understanding of hate crime, the damage that it does, the pernicious nature of hate crime among the community as well.
“We all accept that the Metropolitan Police is not up to scratch, and it needs to be, and it needs a big change.”
He continued: “If I was mayor, I would be taking a very hands-on strategic overlook.
“It's not my job to run the police day-to-day operations, but it’s very much for me to oversee the exact sort of thing you’re talking about, tackling antisemitism, tackling hate crime, and restoring trust in the police to make people feel safe.
“That’s the first thing the mayor should be doing.”
He concluded that the Met “should be working with Jewish organisations” to tackle the issue of antisemitism.
Stamford Hill has one the biggest Jewish communities in London (Photo: Geograph/Creative Commons)
Scully also urged the force to “definitely” adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, adding: “It’s internationally defined for a reason.”
He also referenced the case of Bacari-Bronze O'Garro, more widely known as TikToker Mizzy, who was arrested for assault after he posted a series of videos that appear to show him harassing Jews in February. He has not been charged by the Met Police in relation to this incident.
In one video he can be seen sneaking up behind a young Charedi man as he waits at a bus stop. He then jumps into the air, places his hands on his victim’s shoulders and then attempts to leapfrog over him.
In another video, he can be seen cycling while wearing a hoiche hat and saying: “Guys I’m a f**king Jew.”
He was handed a criminal behaviour order last week over a video showing him invading an unsuspecting family’s home.
The 18-year-old is accused of breaking the order almost immediately with a series of clips posted online, including one of him outside Westfield shopping centre.
Scully said: “In terms of Mizzy, it’s ridiculous when you have a situation that people are filming their crimes and they’re not being investigated properly.
"I’m glad that he’s been pulled up but then the sentence that he’s got, he’s got a fine and he’s gone straight out and done the same thing again, which shows you’ve got to hit these people hard because - not only to stop them doing it, but to stop sharing and encouraging others to do it."
If he became Mayor of London, the Sutton and Cheam MP also pledged to scrap the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which will see drivers in every Greater London borough charged £12.50 a day from August this year.
He said: “[It’s] going to affect small businesspeople, it’s going to affect charities. It’s going to affect people I know if they’re travelling to and from synagogue.”
The Conservative MP said he effectively served an “apprenticeship” to become Mayor after serving as minister for London for three years.
He continued: “I’ve sat close to Sadiq Khan, watched him at close quarters, where he has deflected rather than delivered for Londoners on his key areas of responsibility - housing, transport and crime - until we find ourselves with the Met police and the fire brigade in special measures.”
In response to Mr Scully’s campaign, a London Labour source said: "Londoners know exactly what the Tories are about – a cost-of-living crisis, soaring housing costs, huge cuts to public services, and opposing measures to clean up our dirty air.
“Whoever the Tories select as their candidate Sadiq will be proudly campaigning on his record delivering for Londoners, building record numbers of council homes, giving primary children free school meals and cleaning up our air despite the actions of this woeful Government."
The Metropolitan Police were contacted for comment.