Anti-semitic symbol comes at sensitive time
Anti-Semitic graffiti daubed on walls in Torbay has been reported to the Home Office as police appeal for help to find the culprit behind several incidents.
In one a Nazi swastika symbol has been painted in the centre of a Jewish Star of David.
The graffiti is believed to refer to the conflict in Gaza.
Police Superintendent Hayley Costar said: “We believe it to be the work of one individual.”
Speaking at a meeting of Torbay Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, she said: “We have brought together a serious investigation with very active lines of inquiry to identify a suspect.”
She said the inquiry by local officers was being monitored at a senior level.
“The importance of this in our community at the moment is not lost on us,” she added. “It is an active crime investigation. It is pro-active, and is being monitored at the most senior level.”
The Home Office has been informed, and the local CCTV network is being monitored.
“There is an incredible amount of work going on to bring this to an end,” said Supt Costar.
Torquay police have appealed on social media for information.
They said: “Please report any further instances. Neighbourhood team are investigating and we appeal for any information to help identify the individual.”
Members of the overview and scrutiny committee discussed measures being taken across the bay to combat the threat of terrorism.
A report by Torbay’s safer communities partnership manager Victoria McGeough said the ‘primary concern’ in the south west is young white males with an interest in right wing or extreme right wing ideology. They can be vulnerable due to issues such as their mental health, domestic violence within the family and social isolation.
The report said: “There is a significant risk with isolated individuals that their beliefs are further developed by extensive use of the online space.”
The Torquay graffiti is being removed by council environmental health teams.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Torquay Police quoting file number 50230286563.
CLARIFICATION: This article was updated on 17 November. It originally said an incident was being 'investigated by the Home Office'. However, the meeting was told the incident had been 'reported' to the Home Office. It has since been made clear that while the Home Office has been informed, it is NOT investigating the matter as a result.