Devon and Cornwall Police have won “highly commended” recognition at the World Class Policing Awards for their response to the arson attack on the historic Exeter Synagogue. This new event recognises outstanding police work from across the world.
The attack occurred on 21st July 2018. Devon Live reported that police attended immediately, reviewed CCTV images, and arrested Tristan Morgan.
As he was put in a police van, he reportedly said: “Please tell me that synagogue is burning to the ground, if not, it’s poor preparation.”
According to police, Mr Morgan is alleged to have poured “an accelerant” into the synagogue, which was built in 1763, making it one of Britain’s oldest synagogues, and then tried to light it.
He was later sentenced to an indefinite hospital order and a ten-year terrorism reporting order.
The citation stated: “In July 2018 Exeter Synagogue was the target of an arson attack that was captured on CCTV. Within minutes a local man was arrested. CID officers, working with counter-terrorism colleagues went ‘above and beyond’, neighbourhood and diversity staff provided exceptional victim care and, brought together by police, local faith and civic partners gave outstanding support to the Jewish community. The suspect, who held extreme white supremacist views was later sentenced to an indefinite hospital order and a ten-year terrorism reporting order.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds Devon and Cornwall Police for their swift and strong response and support given to the local Jewish community. This will serve as an example to police forces throughout the UK.
Image credit: Exeter Synagogue