Jewish ‘police’ patrol bring down drunk shoe-thrower in Archway

Members of the Shomrim with police.

Members of the Shomrim with police. - Credit: Archant

A uniformed orthodox Jewish ‘police’ squad helped officers arrest a drunk man who was throwing shoes at traffic on busy main road.

Shomrim, a community safety group which normally patrols parts of Hackney looking for crooks, were passing through Islington but swung into action when they saw the potentially fatal scene.

The group, which has its own uniform, stab vests and vehicles, were driving down Holloway Road, Archway, on Tuesday last week when noticed they man hurling objects into the traffic.

Member Shulem Stern said: “The car quickly stopped, and they saw him throwing more stuff at vehicles as they went past. They were having to swerve – it was quite a dangerous situation on a fast, busy road.

“They called the police and then followed him at a distance as he went down a side road.

“He was stopped by officers and admitted it. He had been evicted, he was drunk and not very happy.

“It was a first offence so they cautioned him rather than criminalise him.”

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Police confirmed they arrested and cautioned a 32-year-old man for criminal damage to a car.

The Stamford Hill branch of Shomrim was formed in 2008, based on the Brooklyn group of the same name.

The 25-strong group of volunteers give up three to four hours a day on patrol and are on call around the clock.

They have the power of citizen’s arrest, if the offence is serious, just like any member of the public, and have their own branded stab vests.

Mr Stern said: “We’ve got no plans to move into Islington in the near future. But with Shomrim there are no boundaries.

“It takes over your life. When you see a crime the professionalism just kicks in straight away.

“You want to deal with the situation.”

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