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At a meeting coordinated by Liberal Democrat Cllr Ian Sharer, following a request for protection from Islamic leaders at the Cazenove Road Mosque and North London Community Centre (NLCC) in Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, a deal was struck with North London Shomrim to include the local mosque in their neighbourhood watch rounds.
Following the murder of Lee Rigsby in Woolwich, there has been a nationwide increase in attacks on Muslims and Islamic centres. In London there was the arson attack on a Somalian Community Centre and closer to us in Hackney, Finsbury Park Mosque in St Thomas’s Road has reported a rise in hate crime incidents.
Hackney’s Borough Commander Matthew Horne, said: “Hackney’s faith communities have a long history of working and living together in harmony. The community work conducted day in and day out by Shomrim has been extended to assisting with reporting anything of concern around Mosques as well as Synagogues.
He continued: “For those of us privileged to work with both communities in Hackney this comes as no surprise and is a perfect antidote to those that would seek to divide us through hate.”
The Shomrim patrol has been established in the heavily populated Orthodox Jewish wards in Hackney for the past 5 years following anti-semetic incidents and have been instrumental in the detection of crime in their patrol areas. Shomrim (Hebrew for security) Stamford Hill Safety and Rescue Patrol (SHSRP) scout the streets 24 hours a day assisting the community and the police. Although they have some training with Hackney Police, they do not have the power to apprehend.
Cllr Ian Shearer said: “I was asked by Muslim friends to chair the meeting. The meeting was a great success. The Shomrim patrols have agreed to include the local mosques and other buildings as part of their routine patrols.
“Both Shomrim and the NLCC are great organisations and it’s nice to bring them together.”