Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Reflections on an Anti-Semitic incident in St Albans

Although my parents were both from the North-West I was born and grew up in St Albans.

St Peter's street is the main street of that city. It is not the sort of place you would expect public disorder on a Sunday afternoon, any more than you would in, say, Lowther Street in Whitehaven, or St Albans Row in Carlisle.

So I am astonished by what happened in St Peter's Street two days ago. (See report here.)

A Jewish family, including two toddlers aged three and two respectively and a one-year old baby in a pram, were minding their own business having a cup of coffee in the seating area outside Costa Coffee at about 2.15 pm on Sunday.

For no apparent reason a stranger, a young man with a brown hair and a beard who was wearing a red t-shirt and a black bag round his neck with sunglasses perched on his head, shoved the baby's pram.  The baby's father stood up and asked why the man had done this, and the reply was anti-semitic abuse.

The man repeated his racially abusive comment, attempted to kick a piece of street furniture towards the Jewish family, and then left. The baby's uncle had whipped his phone out and recorded  much of the incident, with the offending racist expression clearly audible.

Hertfordshire police are investigating and have asked that anyone with information contact them on the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime number 41/70651/19.

The man's face is very clearly visible in the newspaper report which I linked to above and in images of the incident which are circulating on social media. Some of the people who will see those pictures must know who he is. I hope they will contact Hertfordshire police so that the matter can be properly dealt with.
What on earth is Britain coming to when a Jewish family including three small children can't enjoy a quiet cup of coffee without being racially abused in this way?

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