Leeds police investigating ‘hate crime’ after Charles Morris spray painted with Nazi swastika

The word ‘Nazi’ was also written


West Yorkshire Police is investigating after Charles Morris accommodation was vandalised with a Nazi swastika followed by the word ‘Nazi!’ written on one of the corridor walls using red spray paint.

The antisemitic graffiti is being treated as a “hate crime” by West Yorkshire Police, who are working to identify suspects. The university claim it was the work of “intruders” into the accommodation.

A Jewish student told The Leeds Tab they do not believe the graffiti was “random” at all, but a targeted attack on Jewish students in the halls.

“This was no accident,” they said, “the graffiti was not randomly placed at Charles Morris. Many Jewish students live there in their first year. It was absolutely targeted. I’ve been made to feel unsafe in my home away from home, and I’m now going into a second lockdown knowing that someone doesn’t want me here.”

A selection of penises were also spray painted by the same vandals across the accommodation walls. The university is reviewing CCTV footage following the incident to try and identify those involved.

An Instagram story showed the graffiti

A university spokesperson said: “We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and the safety and welfare of our students and staff is our number one priority. The graffiti in question – as well as puerile graffiti of penises sprayed elsewhere in the building – was removed as soon as we were made aware of it.

“The matter is being investigated and CCTV footage has been reviewed. We have also reported it to the police.

“We suspect this is a one-off indiscriminate act of vandalism by intruders and are unaware of any direct threats made to anyone living in the halls of residence. Nevertheless, security patrols have been stepped up in and around the halls to help reassure students and staff.

“Students with concerns or further information should contact Residence Life staff, or Security Services via 0113 343 5494.”

West Yorkshire Police said: “Police are investigating an incident where anti-semitic graffiti was sprayed on a wall in halls of residence in Mount Preston Street.

“This is being treated as a hate crime and will be investigated accordingly.

“Officers are working with the university to identify suspects and anyone with information can contact police on 101, or by using the options on the West Yorkshire Police website.”