Three men were arrested after a gang set fire to a Union flag in Twickenham while shouting “Free Palestine” and “Allahu Akbar”.
According to The Telegraph:
The suspects, a 17-year-old and two 18-year-olds, were detained shortly after 6pm on Monday.
Two flags were stolen from outside The Fox pub but it is not believed any other businesses were targeted.
Explaining what happened, a bartender from a nearby pub said: “It was one of our regulars that was in the middle of it.
“He caught one of the guys.”
She said that a group of three or four men had taken the flag hanging outside The Fox before running away. She described how the pub-goer then chased after the men, before calling the police when he heard them saying “Allahu Akbar” and trying to burn the flag.
The Metropolitan Police said the group had allegedly made remarks about the conflict in Gaza.
Pubs and traders in the area have a tradition of flying Union flags on the street, as well as the colours of England’s international rugby opponents and flags in support of Ukraine.
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and inciting racial hatred, the force confirmed…
It comes after Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Police commissioner, clashed with ministers over how to deal with pro-Palestinian protesters shouting “jihad” after Saturday’s rally in central London.
Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that officers currently had sufficient powers to arrest those inciting violence or racial hatred.
Writing in The Telegraph however, Sir Mark said a “chasm” existed between the law and what the public expected, and officers could not enforce “values, principles, taste or decency”.
A Met spokesman said: “At 6.09pm on Monday, October 23, police were called to Church Street, Twickenham, following reports of a group trying to remove and set fire to Union flags.
“Three men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and inciting racial hatred.”