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A man has been sentenced for displaying anti-Semitic posters in the Gants Hill area of Ilford in 2017, following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Shehroz Iqbal, 27, of Kenwood Gardens, Ilford, was sentenced on Friday, September 20 at Snaresbrook Crown Court for displaying written material that is threatening, abusive or insulting intending thereby to stir up racial hatred contrary to Section 18 (1) and 27(3) Public Order Act 1986.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at the same court on Wednesday, April 24.
He received 12 months imprisonment (suspended for 24 months), 30 days rehabilitation activity, 60 hours unpaid work and a £100 fine for breach of previous suspended sentence,
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The slogans on the posters Iqbal was displaying were clearly intended to stir up racial hatred towards the Jewish community.
“Police quickly responded to the situation and carried out a thorough investigation, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of Iqbal.
“I praise the actions of the member of public who swiftly reported the incident to police. By people coming forward with such information we can act to quickly resolve a situation, as we have done here.
“The Met is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and this investigation shows our determination to pursue those who seek to sow racial hate and division within London’s communities.
“I want to reassure the Jewish community, and indeed, all of London’s communities, that we take such offences extremely seriously and will strive to identify and bring those responsible to justice.”
On the evening of March 17, 2017, a member of the public exiting Gants Hill Underground Station via the underpass saw Iqbal, who was dressed in camouflage clothing and a hoody, taping posters to the underpass walls. On closer inspection, he saw that the posters displayed anti-Semitic messages and called the police.
He then saw Iqbal walk out of the exit and towards the Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue to which he attached more anti-Semitic posters. This was all caught on CCTV.
Local police arrived shortly afterwards, but Iqbal had already fled. They seized the posters, which were forensically examined and subsequently linked to Iqbal.
The investigation was furthered by the Counter Terrorism Command and on March 23, 2018, detectives arrested Iqbal at his home address. He was taken to an east London police station for questioning and admitted the offence.
Any suspicious behaviour or activity can be reported via the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) website at www.gov.uk/ACT or alternatively, call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.
Police urge anyone with information about hate crime to contact them immediately via 101 or through Twitter @MetCC – in an emergency, phone 999..
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously to report crime on 0800 555 111.