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Police investigate swastika and anti-Semitic abuse incident outside Mill Road Co-op

Police are investigating claims of swastikas being drawn in chalk in Mill Road, along with reports of anti-Semitic abuse being hurled at local shoppers.

The incident took place at around 11.15am on August 22 - the same day as two dead pigeons were found with swastikas carved into their chests in St Neots - outside the Co-op on the junction of Mill Road and Covent Garden.

Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell
Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell

Shoppers alleged that the swastika was drawn in chalk on the pavement, with one member of the public being subjected to the anti-Semitic abuse when he commented on the impression.

“Be careful if you are walking up that way,” warned one member of a local neighbourhood WhatsApp group. It is understood that the graffiti was subsequently removed.

A spokesperson for Co-op said: “Co-op has a zero tolerance policy towards any forms of harassment and discrimination, and any behaviour of this type is treated with the utmost seriousness.”

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire police said: “We were contacted on Tuesday, August 22, with reports of racially aggravated abuse in Mill Road, Cambridge earlier that day.

“The victim reported being subjected to anti-Semitic abuse at about 11.15am after seeing chalk swastikas drawn on the pavement.

“Officers have spoken to the victim and an investigation is ongoing.

“Everyone should be allowed to live their lives free from harassment and the fear of hate crime.

The Mill Road West Co-Op, on the junction with Covent Garden. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Mill Road West Co-Op, on the junction with Covent Garden. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We take all reports of hate crime incredibly seriously and we would encourage victims to report incidents to us.”

The latest incident follows on from two people being arrested after two dead pigeons with swastikas carved into their chests were found in St Neots, also on August 22. A 21-year-old woman from Baldock and a 23-year-old man from Chatteris were arrested by officers from the Huntingdonshire neighbourhood team on suspicion of racial/religious public order.

Anyone with information about the Mill Road incident is urged to contact police via their web chat service or online forms at www.cambs.police.uk/report quoting 35/62997/23. Anyone without internet access should call 101.

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