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Anorak | Arming the Shomrim and your local council vigilantes

Arming the Shomrim and your local council vigilantes

by | 25th, February 2015

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In Hendon, north London, a man has been arrested. The 44-year-old is alleged to have stood by Hendon Central Tube station, perfomed a Nazi salute and commanded “let’s kill the Jews”.

A Met spokesman tells the Jewish News :

“Police were called at approximately 13:50hrs on Sunday, 22 February to Central Circus, NW4 following reports of a man allegedly making anti-Semitic comments. Officers attended and a 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. He was taken to a north London police station and subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.”

We only know of this because the Shomrim (“guards” in Herbrew) tweeted it:

 

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There are four Shomrim groups in the UK, one operating in around London’s Golders Green, another in the capital’s Stamford Hill and two in Manchester.

Tabby Kinder went on patrol in Stamford Hill:

“People in this part of London call us before the police in an emergency,” Shulem says of their hotline number, which receives between 11 to 15 calls a day. “People know they get an instant response from Shomrim, and in most cases we’ll be there way before the police because we’re so local usually in around 40 seconds, whereas the police have their fastest response target at around 15 minutes…

The patrols are supported by Hatzola, an ambulance service run by Jewish volunteers with emergency medical technician training. “Our ambulance service is much faster as well,” claims Shulem. “They get to the scene of an incident in three minutes. The London Ambulance target is eight minutes….

“It’s no secret that the police are stretched and officers are tied up with paperwork instead of being able to patrol the streets,” says Shulem. “Even before the cuts, Shomrim has been a simple addition to the police. We have been brought up locally, live locally, work locally and drive up and down these streets every day. We know the regular faces – the goodies and the baddies.”

In 2010, the Independent began it’s story on the all-male volunteer Shomrim with the headline:

Justice on London’s streets, the Jewish way

Are the police in favour?

When the group was established in 2008, Supt Steve Dann, the then Hackney commander, said: “I am very upset that no-one has approached me about this. It has been done behind my back. I see this as a slight against me that we were not delivering a service.”

He might take offence at the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (more on that later).  But is the emergence of the Shomrim a reflected that the Jewish community doesn’t believe they’re going to be protected by the police?

The Metropolitan Police is not keen on the suggestion that their services require supplementation. Senior officers have voiced concern over the group’s existence, insisting that trained police officers and no one else should attempt to deal with crimes in progress.

Hackney’s borough commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Bending, said: “Whilst I have a great amount of respect for the Orthodox Jewish Community within Hackney, I do not support the concept of any community having its own form of patrol service. There is a risk of other communities feeling intimidated by this course of action.

“There is also an issue of members putting themselves at physical risk through attending an escalating situation, interfering with possible evidence or potentially risking criminal prosecution themselves, should their conduct in dealing with members of the public justify that course of action.”

But this isn’t the self-styled Muslim Patrol who wandered parts of East London enforcing their own laws:

Three members of a self-styled “Muslim Patrol” vigilante group have been jailed for harassing, intimidating and assaulting people on the streets of east London while claiming they were enforcing sharia law.

A judge at the Old Bailey had heard that Jordan Horner, 19, Ricardo MacFarlane, 26, and a 23-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, had terrorised a couple for walking through Bethnal Green holding hands, told a woman in Stepney that she would be punished in “hellfire” because of the way she was dressed, and attacked a group of men who were drinking in Shoreditch.

The Shomrim will not jump you for eating a pork bap in public.

 

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Nor will they offer you booze, as the ‘Christian Patrol’ has:

A group with links to the British National Party is holding “Christian Patrols” in the East End to defend what it calls British soil against Muslim extremists…

Nationalist group Britain First drove into Brick Lane in two armoured Gulf War Land Rovers on Friday with leaflets warning of “Muslim Patrols” in the area.

The group drew the opprobrium of the Bishop of Stepney, who said there was “no place” for them in Tower Hamlets.

Britain First’s chairman, Paul Golding, formerly a senior figure in the BNP, said he hoped to “draw out” Muslim extremists using cigarettes and beer as “bait”.

Michael Levy, the Conservative Party councillor for the Springfield ward, adds:

“The police are understandably nervous because it is a new organisation but they will soon pick it up and realise that the group is a benefit and can help to drive down crime. It is a valuable service and will be able to augment the police service.

“The police encourage neighbourhoods to have a neighbourhood watch service and I cannot see a great deal of difference between that and this, apart from the fact that this is active rather than static. But that is a good thing because it will inevitably provide a great deal of intelligence for the police service.”

 

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The Mail says the Met is now in favour.

Orthodox organisation, which works closely with the Metropolitan Police, tweeted from their @shomrimlondon account: ‘Following events in Paris we will have on extra patrols throughout NW London over Shabbos [ the Jewish sabbath].’

Shomrim volunteers receive police training and uniforms, including knife-proof vests.

In New York, they have been active :

But the Shomrim do more than just help old ladies cross the street. Bernath can’t resist invoking the time in 2007 that the Borough Park Shomrim helped nab a gang of burglars who posed as water inspectors to get into the apartments of the elderly and trusting. The thieves had been on a tear through Brooklyn.

“The police, due to our great relationship, told us about this,” Bernath says. “We found out about it on a Wednesday. On the Friday, we get a call over our hotline: ‘We think these are the guys.'”

Making use of their unmarked cars, the Shomrim followed the van in question throughout the neighborhood for five or six hours, but it never made any suspicious moves. Finally, Bernath says, five men got out and entered a building. The Shomrim called the precinct commander, and when the men left the building with several apartments’ worth of loot, the cops nabbed them.

“We had a great arrest,” Bernath says. “If not for the Shomrim, it would never have happened.”

The Shomrim are also prepared to put themselves in harm’s way before police arrive.

Last fall, as children filled the streets of Borough Park for a religious celebration, the Shomrim got word that David Flores, suspected of masturbating in front of children in the neighborhood earlier in the day, was still cruising the area in his car. When the Shomrim found him trapped in traffic, Flores fled on foot, carrying a gun. They tackled him, and in the resulting scuffle, four Shomrim members were shot, though none fatally.

Exciting stuff. But that about bias and not always working with the Government?

The most heat the Shomrim took in the aftermath of the Kletzky murder wasn’t for failing to find the boy or for waiting too long to call the cops. It came with the revelation that the Shomrim actually maintain a list of suspected child molesters in the neighborhood that they will not share with police.

“The community doesn’t go to the

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Posted: 25th, February 2015 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink