Police have launched an investigation after offensive graffiti was daubed over play park equipment.

On Saturday, vandals painted offensive symbols and words over equipment in a children's park in Bushey using orange and blue spray paint.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has confirmed that some of the graffiti at Moatfield Recreation Ground was anti-semitic.

Pictures taken by Bushey St James ward councillor Harry Mortimer today (Tuesday) show some of the paint still left on the equipment and the outline of what appears to be at least one attempt to paint a swastika - an ancient symbol co-opted by the Nazis as their emblem.

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It looks like another attempt at a swastika has been covered with orange paint

Cllr Mortimer, who says he has many Jewish friends, says he had not really come across anti-semitism until he entered local politics.

He added: "This is not the first time in recent times this has happened in Hertsmere. Anti-semitism is there and it is happening in Hertsmere. Jewish people are standing up against this matter and I on a local level stand with them.

"It is encouraging that the police are taking this seriously and those responsible will know we are hot on their heels."

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Some more of the graffiti at the park

Hertsmere has one of the the highest number of Jewish residents in the country outside London but that has not stopped incidents happening in the borough.

In January this year, the words 'Jew Ghetto' were daubed over a fence in Shenley with anti-semitic graffiti also appearing on the wall of Shenley Chapel, home to Shenley United Synagogue.

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Then in July, a blue swastika was painted on a tree trunk in Furzehill Road in Borehamwood.

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PC Andrea Haughton, a hate crime officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary, has condemned the latest graffiti in Bushey, which is being described as a racially aggravated public order offence.

PC Haughton said: "This sort of behaviour has no place in Hertfordshire and we are doing all we can to trace the offenders. The park is always busy at the weekends and I am hoping someone will have seen the perpetrators daubing these appalling words and symbols on the play equipment."

Police believe the vandals struck beween 9.30am and 1.25pm on Saturday November 23.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference 41/105743/19.

Hertsmere Borough Council is aware of the graffiti in Bushey and steps are being taken to remove it.