A suspect has been arrested after gravestones were damaged in a Jewish cemetery in Rochester.

Kent Police received a call at around 12pm on Friday 18 August 2023 reporting several gravestones had been pushed over and damaged in the grounds of Chatham Memorial Synagogue in the High Street. It is believed the damage, which amounts to around £19,000, may have been caused between Tuesday 15 and Friday 18 August.

On Friday 25 August, a 41-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken into custody. Investigators are continuing to appeal for witnesses and anyone with information to contact them.

North Division Superintendent, Nick Sparkes, said: ‘This type of crime is thankfully very rare, but has understandably caused a great deal of distress in the local community. We have spoken to those responsible for the cemetery and will continue to offer advice about crime prevention measures.

‘Our officers are investigating this as a hate crime and local patrols will continue to monitor the area. If anyone has any concerns I would encourage them to speak to officers and PCSOs when they see them.

‘We are still urging anyone who may have seen or heard the damage being caused, or anyone acting suspiciously in the area, to contact the appeal line. Residents or businesses with private CCTV and motorists with dashcam are also asked to check for relevant footage.’

Anyone with information should call 01634 792209, quoting crime reference 46/152042/23. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete the online form on their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

By Ed

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