Detectives have launched an investigation into an antisemitic attack after a group of Jewish friends speaking Hebrew were ambushed in Leicester Square.
The victims said they had enjoying a night out in London’s West End when they were set upon by a group of up to 20 men in the early hours of Sunday morning.
One of the group claimed she called the Metropolitan Police 10 times in fear for her life to be told by the operator: “You are not the only one that called tonight”.
The thugs launched the attack at around 1.30am on Sunday morning as two Jewish men and one woman walked through the square.
The woman, who gave her name as Tehilla, told the Telegraph the group were speaking Hebrew when men surrounded them and said “are you Jewish?”
The 28-year-old told the paper: “I said ‘yes, I’m Jewish,’ and then they started chanting ‘Free Palestine’, and f*** Jews’ all this kind of swearing at us.
“So we just tried not to get into trouble, to walk away, but they started following us and then all of a sudden, it started with like two or three guys, and all of a sudden, they called all their friends and 15 to 20 guys started attacking us physically.”
Tehilla, who claims she suffered neck and leg injuries, while her friends were punched in the head, added she was “scared she was going to die”.
However, she added that when she rang the Met and told them she and her friends were being attacked because they were Jewish, police “kept saying ‘I’m sorry, it takes some time, you are not the only one that called tonight”.
The Met Police said that no one has yet been arrested in connection with the incident, which it is treating as a “hate crime”.
Detective Supt Lucy O’Connor said: ‘We are investigating this incident as an anti-Semitic hate crime.
“I know how upsetting such inexcusable violence is for anyone who was injured or who witnessed the incident, and also for the wider community. I share their concerns.
“Officers arrived at the scene some 28 minutes after they were called. Of course, I wish we could have come to their aid sooner.
“The police investigation will now focus on speaking with the woman and any other victims or witnesses, as well as following up all lines of enquiry including analysis of CCTV. I urge any witnesses to get in touch.
“I can assure Londoners, tackling antisemitic crime is a priority for the Met. There is no place for hate in our city.”
A spokesperson for the force added that police were called at 1.37am to reports woman was assaulted in the area of Leicester Square, who said she did not need an ambulance.
It said: “The caller stated that she did not require an ambulance.
“Officers attended the location, arriving shortly after 02:00hrs, at which point all parties had left the scene.
“We understand that a woman subsequently attended hospital for treatment.
“The incident is being treated as a hate crime. Officers will speak with the victim to take a statement and identify any other victims and witnesses.
“A full investigation, which will include analysis of CCTV from the area, will be led by officers from the Met’s Central West Basic Command Unit.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with footage or other information that may assist police, are asked to call 101, ref 791/21jan.’ To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.