Police are looking for witnesses after two boys, aged 12 and 14, were reportedly assaulted in Aberford Park, Borehamwood on Sunday.
The boys’ father, Rabbi Alex Chapper, told the JC how his two sons “met a friend and went to the local park in Borehamwood, very near our house. Whilst in the park, they were surrounded by a group of teenagers around the same age who were calling out abusive antisemitic words to them, for example ‘f***ing Jews.’ They tried to extract themselves from the situation but were followed and surrounded. Fortunately there was a member of the community there [in the park] who called the police.”
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire police said that “Officers are investigating a racially aggravated incident that occurred in Aberford Park, Borehamwood, on Sunday, 7th May. A 14-year-old boy’s skullcap was knocked off his head and he was kicked in his leg. During the incident racially aggravated comments were also made to a 12-year-old boy.”
Rabbi Chapper, who only took up his position as the new Rabbi of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue after Pesach, said that his sons had been left “very shaken” by the incident. He added that his family was subject to antisemitic abuse before: “Actually the first week we were here we were walking home on a Friday evening, and there were teenagers shouting abuse at us as well. We ignored that, but this sort of the thing, with children in the park, it’s just not acceptable.”
Anyone with information should contact Hertfordshire Constabulary by calling 101 and quoting crime reference J1/17/1946. If any assistance is required, our Crime Unit can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are following the case with interest.