Police in London are investigating claims Jewish children have been prevented from getting on buses in the city, The Independent reported on Monday.
In one incident, several Jewish schoolboys were waiting a bus stop in Stamford Hill, north London and signalled for it to stop. The driver initially slowed down but then continued without stopping, the complaint says.
It is claimed several passengers were encouraging the driver’s alleged actions, making antisemitic remarks and expressing their gratitude for the bus not stopping, the Met Police said. The incident is said to have occurred at around 8.05 a.m. on November 26.
The alleged incident was reported to Shomrim - the Jewish Community Safety Patrol - and to the Met by a passenger who felt “threatened, intimidated, shocked, and scared” as he was the only Jewish person on the bus at the time. He said he was angered by the “apparent complicity of the bus driver and other passengers”, a Shomrim spokesperson said.
A similar incident is said to have taken place three days later on Ravensdale Road in Hackney at around 7.40 p.m. A 13-year-old Jewish girl reported her bus initially slowing down for Jewish boys putting their hands out for it to stop.
She claimed the driver then rapidly accelerated and did not allow them on. At the next stop, a non-Jewish Londoner was permitted on board, suggesting “discriminatory behavior by the driver”, the complaint claims.
Transport for London (TfL) said it was taking the reports “extremely seriously” and added, “We do not tolerate any form of discrimination on our network.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed officers are investigating the bus incidents in Hackney.
“It is alleged that the drivers slowed while approaching bus stops where children were waiting, before speeding up without stopping,” a spokesperson said, according to The Independent. “On both occasions it is suggested that the children were obviously Jewish based on their appearance.”
“It is alleged that during [one] incident the other passengers on the bus made antisemitic remarks in support of the driver’s actions,” added the spokesperson.
The complaints come after the Metropolitan Police said antisemitic attacks in London increased by 1,353 percent following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7.
In one incident, pro-Palestinian Arab activists vandalized a kosher restaurant in London.
In another, pro-Palestinian Arab activists targeted Jewish families as they were leaving synagogue on Shabbat in northern London.