London – A Jewish chaplain in London, England said his 16-year-old daughter was punched and kicked in a local park in an anti-Semitic attack, and that police did not respond to an emergency call.
Alex Goldberg, the Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surrey Police, said in a post on Facebook Sunday that he is proud of his daughter, Hannah, “for standing up to sexism, racism and religious abuse,” and “Less proud of the police service that I have worked with for over two decades in failing to respond to three girls being attacked and racially abused.”
Hannah Goldberg and her two friends, who her father said were identifiable as religious Jews due to their long skirts, were in a London-area park on May 27 when they were attacked by teens playing basketball. A basketball thrown at her head cut and injured her. She was also punched in the face and kicked in the chest by at least two of the boys.
One of them said “Hitler should have killed all you Jews” and “You should have all been gassed,” while the second said, “Jews are the worst.” Hannah reportedly responded to their comments saying Hitler would have killed their families too for being minorities, her father said.
A bystander called the police. The girls waited for two hours for the police to come before leaving the park, Alexander Goldberg said.
“Some of the friends of the boys who assaulted my daughter came over to apologise including one who appeared had joined in the banter.
She asked them why they didn’t do anything about the racism and violence. They said they wanted to and felt bad about it but were scared of being beaten up by the two other boys. No police arrived,” Alexander Goldberg wrote.
The story was reported by the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News website on Tuesday.
A statement to the Jewish Chronicle by the local police station in Barnet said: “We received a 999 call to Stonyfields Park from a member of the public who came to the aid of Hannah and her friends at 1918hrs. It was treated as an emergency call. We arrived at the park 1937hrs, (19mins), but could not find the caller or Hannah after a search of the area.
We eventually managed to recontact the caller but she had left by this time and did not know Hannah’s details. We eventually made contact with Hannah and her family the following day after they contacted us.”
The statement added that “something has gone wrong and we are looking into why so we can learn from it and prevent it happening again.
We are now working with Hannah to identify the suspects.”