Shomrim’s volunteers were dispatched and found the victim’s tallit (prayer shawl) dumped by the bins beside the pond. They then found the victim’s tefillin (small black boxes worn during prayer containing Torah verse) in the water.
“Volunteers lovingly recovered the tefillin from the water and quickly identified the victim to alert him,” said Chaim Hochhauser, a spokesman for Shomrim’s Stamford Hill branch, on Thursday.
Police arrested a 47-year-old woman on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after she was tackled by neighbourhood watch volunteers in Stamford Hill, which is home to Europe’s largest Hasidic Jewish community.
She is said to have run after a group of around 14 children aged between eight and 13 on Sunday night while shouting antisemitic abuse.
Herschel Gluck, the President of North London Shomrim, was profiled in the Jewish Chronicle:
“They said to us that they’ve never caught a burglar in situ”, the 59-year-old says. “By us it’s frequent — we frequently catch burglars when they’re coming out of the house, when they’re in the house, because we get there a lot quicker than the police.
“Our function isn’t to replicate the police, it is to get to the scene, secure the scene, apprehend the perpetrator and wait for the police to come. They make the arrest.”
“I think perhaps, other areas of London could learn from our model, about how to have a constructive association with members of other communities”, he says.
“When the first Muslims came to the neighbourhood in the late ’60s, early ’70s, it was actually Jewish people who welcomed them and helped them. And this in turn helped to an appreciation, to a positive memory, of relations with Jewish people, and an appreciation of what the Jewish people did for Muslim individuals. I think constructive engagement generally pays very good dividends.
“It’s been a real partnership. Both communities work equally together for the common good and for each other. I’m very, very heartened by the attitudes and by the actions of our Muslim partners in this area, and I am aware that that sentiment is shared by the Muslim community, that they see in the Jewish community people who really look out for them.”
London Shomrim were profiled in the Evening Standard, Britain’s 4th highest circulation newspaper:
Last year the organisation said it facilitated 146 arrests, 22 of which were for anti-Semitic offences. A registered charity, Shomrim polices everything from drink-driving to racist abuse and its patrols are aimed at protecting all members of society, with 64 per cent of its work last year supporting the non-Jewish community.
After both suspects’ images were circulated in the Gazette online and in the paper, an eagle-eyed reader from the uniformed orthodox Jewish street safety patrol, Shomrim, identified Paczkowska, and the women were arrested in February.
Det Con Anwen Clissold, from Hackney’s East area detections team, said … “I would like to thank the Gazette and and Shomrim who identified the suspect for their help in bringing these two to justice.”