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Police condemn Jewish graves attck
A racist attack on Jewish graves at a cemetery has been branded "sickening" by police.
Nazi swastikas and other anti-semitic graffiti has been daubed on gravestones, with some of them toppled over by the vandals.
Police believe the graves, at the Jewish Cemetery in Rochdale Road in Blackely, Manchester, were attacked sometime between 4pm on June 22 and 3.30pm the following day.
Officers are also investigating similar offences from earlier this month.
Inspector Mike Reid, of the Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team at Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "This is a sickening and cruel act of racism.
"A cemetery is supposed to be a resting place for people who have passed away.
"It should be a place of sanctity and dignity where families can come and pay their respects to those who have lost their lives. So to have those graves desecrated in such an appalling and disrespectful way will no doubt cause immeasurable anguish to the families and loved ones affected.
"The vandalism of a gravestone is, in itself, a sickening act but to violate the memory of those resting in the cemetery still further by daubing racial slurs on the graves is truly repulsive. I cannot begin to get into the mind of someone who would commit such an atrocity.
"I know this will cause a lot of anxiety and distress in the local community and we as police officers share that distress. I want to stress to people who have loved ones buried here and live in this area that we will do everything we can to find out who is responsible and bring the full force of the law down on them.
"This has been recorded as a hate crime because of the clear racial motivation and, should we find those who committed this cowardly act, that will allow the courts to impose even harsher punishments.
"Extra patrols will be in the area in the coming days both to act as a visible deterrent and provide a visible presence for any concerned residents, and we will work with our partner agencies to investigate the matter.
"Lastly, I believe the way we will catch these people is through the help of the local community. Someone, somewhere, knows who is responsible and I would urge those people to do the right thing.
"Think how you would feel if it was the grave of your loved one which was damaged. You would want justice so please, think of those are suffering and speak to us, in confidence if needed."
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.