Met: Pro-Palestinian tearing down posters 'didn't commit offence'

Met Police say ‘no offences’ have been committed after viewing footage showing Palestine supporters tearing down posters of Israeli women and children kidnapped by Hamas

The Metropolitan Police has said ‘no offences’ have been committed after viewing footage showing Palestine supporters tearing down posters of Israeli kidnap victims in Leicester Square. 

The video, filmed on Tuesday night, shows two women and a man ripping down the posters before the man notices he is being filmed, pulls down his cap and walks away.

One of the women, wearing a black coat and a long scarf, is told the posters show ‘photos of people kidnapped by terrorists’ and is accused of not caring about ‘human life’. 

The video from Leicester Square, shared by Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer at around 10pm, then cuts to another man walking and ripping off the posters one by one. He turns around and smiles at the camera before walking off. 

The Met Police said it had been ‘made aware’ of the footage and was continuing reassurance patrols in the local area, but added: ‘At this time, no offences have been identified.’

There have been a string of similar incidents, with footage from last night showing a man ripping down several posters before screaming ‘Israel is a terrorist organisation’ when confronted.

Meanwhile, sickening photos emerged of posters that had been defaced with Hitler moustaches and devil horns. One banner on Finchley Road in north London showed the smiling faces of children Emma and Yuli Cunio defaced with toothbrush moustaches. On another poster someone had changed Hamas to ‘real men’. 

*Do you know the people tearing down the posters? Email [email protected]

The video, filmed on Tuesday night in London ‘s Leicester Square, shows two women and a man ripping down the posters of Israeli kidnap victims 

The video cuts to another man walking and ripping off the posters one by one. He turns and smiles at the camera before walking off

The posters – seen here after being torn down – had been put up to raise awareness of the plight of Hamas kidnap victims 

The video shows the moment several people vandalised posters on a London bus stop before a passerby asks: ‘Did you just take that poster of an innocent civilian? Stop taking them they’re innocent civilians.’

The man shouts back: ‘Your government kills children every single day. Do not tell me about Hamas, Israel is a terrorist organisation.’ 

An elderly woman then intervenes, saying: ‘How dare you tear that down. Shut the f*** up you w****r.’

A previous video from Oxford Street showed a woman ripping down a poster of Ariel, a four-year-old boy who was kidnapped from a kibbutz.

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch yesterday criticised ‘odious people ripping down posters of missing children’ as she said part of the UK’s social contract has been ‘breached’.

She told the Commons: ‘All our citizens have a right to feel secure and at peace in Britain. One of the reasons why we have been able to integrate people from all over the world is because of an unwritten rule that people with roots elsewhere do not play out foreign conflicts on the streets of this country.


There have been a string of similar incidents, with footage from Wednesday night showing a man ripping down several posters before screaming ‘Israel is a terrorist organisation’ when confronted 

The man shouts that Israel ‘is a terrorist organisation’ and says ‘Israelis are terrorists’

‘We owe a duty of care and civility to our neighbours whatever their ethnicity, religion or background. All of us are free to practice our faiths and celebrate our cultures but we must do so in a positive way, consistent with fundamental values that are the bedrock of Britain. I’m afraid to say that in recent days we have seen that social contract being breached.

‘In particular, I believe that the hostility directed towards our Jewish communities, the calls for Jihad, the ostentatious indifference to the victims of terrorism, the aggressive chanting by mobs brandishing placards of hate, and the odious people ripping down posters of missing children, do not reflect our values as a nation.

‘We must all stand firm on the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, particularly in the public space that we all share.’  

Asked about the footage of the posters being ripped down in Leicester Square, a spokesman for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he could not comment on specific incidents.

But they added: ‘It is right and proper that people want to highlight the hostages that are being held by Hamas and want to make sure the focus of what started this current crisis isn’t lost, which is the attack by Hamas on Israel and the fact there are now around 200 hostages in Gaza.

‘I think it’s right people want to be able to draw attention to that and that’s something that is entirely understandable.’

Yesterday sickening photos emerged showing other posters that had been defaced with Hitler moustaches and devil horns. One of the banners showed the smiling faces of Emma and Yuli Cunio which a vandal had defaced with toothbrush moustaches (left) 

The posters had been put up on Finchley Road in north London. On one of them (right) someone had changed Hamas to ‘real men’

Hamas terrorists massacred 1,400 Israelis on October 7, with many filming themselves shooting civilians on their bodycams. 

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said yesterday that 6,546 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes. 

More footage that emerged on October 20 showed a woman telling people filming her as she tore down banners to ‘f*** off’ while another said ‘go cry’.    

The number of anti-Semitic offences in London has soared by more than 1,353 per cent between October 1 and 18 compared to last year, according to Met Police data. 

A total of 218 anti-Semitic offences were reported in London between October 1 and 18, compared with 15 during the same period in 2022.  

Islamophobic offences during the same period are up 140 per cent, from 42 last year to 101. 

This week Dame Maureen Lipman has joined 210 public figures in condemning the surge of anti-Semitism in the UK – as the actress slammed ‘bleeding heartless liberals’ who fail to criticise attacks on Israel.

The list also includes playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, peer Lord Owen, scientist Professor Richard Dawkins, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, Tory MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, former spy chief Sir Richard Dearlove and author Simon Sebag Montefiore.

They write: ‘We are a group of concerned British citizens and residents from a wide range of backgrounds and professions who stand in solidarity with British Jews and condemn all forms of anti-Semitism, whether in Britain or elsewhere.’

A woman on Oxford Street clutching a pile of ripped posters showing the innocents taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Israel on October 7

 The woman said the posters had ‘inaccurate’ information on them 

Criticising the BBC, the signatories say: ‘We ask the media, members of all political parties and everyone in public life to call out Hamas for what it is: a terrorist organisation.’

After a group calling itself Artists for Palestine UK, which included actors Steve Coogan and Tilda Swinton, published a letter accusing Israel of war crimes, Dame Maureen said: ‘These bleeding heartless liberals care so deeply for the Palestinians… that they espouse their cause at the expense of every other oppressed people of the world… Shame. Shame. Shame on every one of you.’

READ MORE – Fury as ITV airs interview with British Palestinian woman on Islamophobia in the UK just days after she described the murder of Jews as a ‘homecoming’

It comes as the immigration minister appeared to suggest that he thought UK visa-holders should be expelled for inciting anti-Semitism even if their conduct falls ‘below the criminal standard’.

Robert Jenrick told the Commons that the process of revoking visas and expelling foreign nationals who spread ‘hate and division’ has already begun ‘in a small number of cases’.

Asked on Times Radio whether someone waving a Palestinian flag at a demonstration could see their visa revoked, the minister replied: ‘No, we believe in freedom of speech.

‘But I disagree with your premise that… somebody who is here as a visitor to the UK has the right to be anti-Semitic, to threaten British communities and can stay unless that is of criminal standard.

‘I think there is conduct which is below the criminal standard but which is wrong, [and] would be accepted as wrong by most reasonable people.

‘If those people are not British citizens, they are just visitors to our country enjoying the privileges of living here, being among fellow British people, then I’m afraid their visas will be revoked and they should leave the country.’

Activists have been putting up posters showing Israelis kidnapped by Hamas in a bid to raise awareness 

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