Manchester Jewish cemetery desecrated

Manchester has experienced a shocking anti-Semitic attack with headstones at a Jewish cemetery destroyed.

The sickening act was discovered and police called to Blackley Jewish Cemetery and found 14 graves had been attacked with the headstones knocked over and smashed.

Ci0108zWUAAsMoE-635x357Greater Manchester Police has confirmed they are treating the matter as a hate crime. The damage will cost an estimated £40,000 to fix.

Stephen Wilson, administrator for the North Manchester Jewish Cemeteries Trust, said: “I think this is mindless vandalism. I just don’t think they understand the unnecessary distress they cause to the families of these departed loved ones. It’s mindless – they need to find better things to do and make a more useful contribution to society than rampaging cemeteries.

“I think they need help – they need education and probably counselling.”

Police have since boosted patrols in the area and are appealing for witnesses in the community.

Chief Supt Wasim Chaudhry from GMP’s North Manchester Division said, “This is a sickening act of criminal damage which we are taking very seriously.

“I believe this was a deliberate and targeted attack and there is no place for such abhorrent behaviour in our communities.

“All decent members of the public recognise that a cemetery is supposed to be a resting place for people who have passed away; a place of sanctity and dignity where families can come and pay their respects.

“So to have those graves desecrated in such a disgusting and disrespectful way will no doubt cause immeasurable anguish to the families and loved ones affected.”

“I cannot begin to get into the mind of someone who would commit such an atrocity. I know this will cause a lot of anxiety and distress in the local community and we as police officers and my colleagues at Manchester City Council and Oldham Council share that distress.”

“We will do everything we can to find out who is responsible and bring the full force of the law down on them.”

“This has been recorded as a hate crime because of the clear racial motivation and, should we find those who committed this cowardly act, that will allow the courts to impose even harsher punishments.”

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, hit out at the vandalism.

He said: “This is a disgusting act of vandalism that will cause anguish, fear and anger among our communities, and could lead to serious divisions within our neighbourhoods.”

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