People in a Hertfordshire village have been left “sickened” and “horrified” after the words "Jew Ghetto" were discovered on Monday morning to have been daubed at different locations in the area.
Police said three places in Shenley were defaced with the words along with a Star of David.
Michelle Spevick posted a picture of the graffiti near Southerton Way on the “My Shenley” Facebook page, writing: “As a Shenley resident and the descendant of families pretty much wiped out in the Holocaust I am sickened by this graffiti which I just drove past.
“I doubt the person who did this feels remorse or shame but they badly need some educating. Police are aware and dealing. Having happily lived in this lovely, peaceful, warm and open community for nearly 15 years I am just so sad at this.”
Other locals wrote it was “Absolutely disgusting. Vile”, and “what is wrong with people – that is awful.”
Another Jewish resident wrote: “We just saw this and were horrified and also very sad that some ignorant person has written this on the fence.”
Shenley, a village near Borehamwood and Radlett, has a population that is approximately 20 per cent Jewish.
Others discussed how they had seen a “big group of teens” in the area on Sunday evening.
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police confirmed that officers are treating the graffiti as “religiously aggravated criminal damage.”
“We received a report about graffiti on a fence in Porters Park Drive, Shenley, at 9.18am today," a spokesperson said on Monday.
“The fence is owned by Shenley Park Trust and they are being informed so that the graffiti can be removed.
“Officers have also been informed of two other graffiti incidents using the same phrase and symbol, which have been sprayed onto a fence at Shenley Chapel in Porters Park Drive and also onto the Chapel wall itself.
“If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area or has information that may assist the investigation they are asked to contact police by calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting ISR 137 of January 7 or report information online.”
Dave Rich, spokesperson for antisemitism watchdog the Community Security Trust, said: “This vile graffiti was reported to CST this morning and it has also been reported to the police.
"This kind of antisemitic language should have no place in our society and we appeal to anybody who knows who did this to come forward.”
PC Sophie Stalley, a local beat officer, said: “We have received numerous phone calls and emails from people reporting this graffiti and understand that it has caused concern among the local community.
“After officers attended this morning they quickly arranged for the graffiti to be removed and this is being carried out as soon as possible to prevent any further upset.
“All of these incidents are being linked and enquiries are currently on-going."