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The UK government is investigating whether it is in breach of the Children and Young Persons Act after a school locker at a secondary school in Oxfordshire was vandalised with anti-Semitic messages.
The incident happened on Tuesday at the Woodland Primary School in Oxford, in a community that has been the subject of a backlash after it was revealed a number of Jewish people were arrested and questioned over alleged racist incidents.
The messages included the words “We’ll burn your house down”, and “Go back to the Third Reich”.
Oxfordshire County Council said it is investigating after receiving a report of the graffiti.
The council said the graffiti had been defaced at the school by “a number of individuals who are not local to Oxfordshire”.
The graffiti was also found at the local shop and in the children’s bathroom, where it has been defacing clothing, including a t-shirt with a swastika.
The school, which was built in 1910, had been criticised for its failure to prevent racist attacks, but the graffiti has caused a huge social media backlash, with many saying the vandalism was a hate crime.
Mr Clarke said the council would now investigate the incident.
“We are aware of the vandalism and the reports of it, and are making enquiries,” he said.
“The council is working closely with the local police and we are working with Oxfordshire Police to investigate.”
Police are also investigating a number similar incidents that have taken place at schools across the UK.
Last month, a school in Hampshire was forced to close for “a matter of hours” after a group of teenagers took part in a racist chant during a football match.
In August, a number and a group were detained by police for using racial abuse against a Muslim woman in the street.
In January, the mayor of Leeds, Leeds West and South Yorkshire, resigned after a number were detained and questioned by police over anti-Muslim comments made on social media.
Last week, Oxfordshire police launched a hate crimes investigation after a swastikas was found on a shop window at a nearby supermarket.
A statement from the council said it was aware of reports of graffiti on the school and that it was being co-ordinated with the police.
“Oxfordshire Police have been informed by the school that a number individuals have defaced the lockers of their school in the area of Woodland, Oxford and Oxfordshire,” it said.
“Oxford and Oxford County Council are co-operating fully with the authorities and will work with them to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to investigate this matter.”