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'I felt disgusted': Condemnation after antisemitic graffiti found on cash machine in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 11 February 2020

Vandals daubed antisemitic graffiti on this cashpoint in Dagenham. This paper has chosen not to publish the words.

Vandals daubed antisemitic graffiti on this cashpoint in Dagenham. This paper has chosen not to publish the words.

Archant

Antisemitic graffiti has been daubed on a cash machine at a Dagenham supermarket.

A symbol and words this paper has chosen not to publish were scrawled across the ATM at Morrisons supermarket in Wood Lane, Dagenham.

Shopper Diane Gilham spotted the graffiti on a trip to the store on Thursday, February 6.

"I felt disgusted seeing this," she said.

Emma Davis, from the Barking and Dagenham branch of anti-racism campaign group Stand Up To Racism, said: "I am horrified to hear this report of far right, racist, antisemitic graffiti.

"Barking and Dagenham is a multicultural community, with a strong history of standing up to racism and the far right. The BNP [British National Party] and the EDL [English Defence League] have tried to make inroads in our community in the past and we are now celebrating 10 years on since the defeat of [BNP leader] Nick Griffin.

"We recently commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust memorial day. However, we are witnessing an emboldened far right.

"As a member of the Jewish community, the words 'Never Again' could not be more important. We have to be clear that there is no room for racist hate crimes in our community."

Dave Rich, director of policy at charity Community Security Trust (CST), said the antisemitic graffiti fitted in with a far right conspiracy theory blaming Jews for immigration.

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"It is disturbing that this kind of hateful extremism is present in Dagenham. We would encourage the police and Morrisons to investigate and try to identify the perpetrator," Mr Rich said.

The number of antisemitic hate crimes is relatively low in Barking and Dagenham. In 2019, two online incidents were reported to CST, which was set up in 1994 to safeguard the UK's Jewish population.

The Met recorded one antisemitic hate crime in the borough between January 2018 and December 2019.

CST recorded 1,805 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2019, the highest total it has ever recorded in a single year and seven per cent higher than the 1,690 antisemitic incidents reported in

2018.

A Morrisons spokeswoman said staff at the store removed the graffiti as soon as it was reported to them on Thursday, February 6.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said the local authority was made aware of the "offensive graffiti" on the same day and as soon as it was told workers made sure it was removed. The council has reported it to the police.

He added: "We are committed to reducing and removing undesirable graffiti. We will remove it from all council-owned properties, remove racist and offensive graffiti, and investigate graffiti at other locations and take appropriate actions to have it removed.

"There is no place in Barking and Dagenham for such offensive graffiti or images. Residents can report such offensive graffiti on our website and we will work with the police to identify the perpetrators."

A vigil against fascism, antisemitism and all forms of racism is due to take place at the store on Thursday, February 13 from 5-6 pm. All welcome.

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