Investigation after swastikas found in Oxford college toilets

Anti-semitic grafitti has been found in a college toilets at Oxford  (PA Archive)
Anti-semitic grafitti has been found in a college toilets at Oxford (PA Archive)

The University of Oxford is looking into pro-Nazi swastika graffiti that was found etched into the doors of two college toilets.

The markings were found in the lavatories in Regent’s Park College where a pro-Palestinian protest was held outside on Thursday.

Thames Valley Police said it was unaware of the graffiti but sent a large response as protestors tried and failed to gain access to the college to stage a sit-in.

The force said that 16 people have since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and that one of those has also been arrested on suspicion of common assault.

The college has condemned the antisemitic graffiti.

“Appropriate action will be taken should we become aware of the identity of those responsible,” college principal Sir Malcolm Evans said in a statement.

“Early this week antisemitic graffiti in the form of a number of swastikas was found within the college.

“This is deeply shocking and is a matter that the college, and I personally, take extremely seriously. Such behaviour has no place here and cannot be considered acceptable under any circumstances.”

He said that steps have already been taken to provide support and “we will continue to assist all students who have been affected by what has occurred”.

“I hope that we are able to learn from what has happened by being reminded of the need to be understanding and supportive of each other as we share our common life together,” he added.

“I am confident that the values that underpin the college will continue to guide us as we do so.”

The perpetrators of the graffiti are unknown and there is no evidence they are linked to any pro-Palestine group.

The Union of Jewish Students and the Oxford Jewish Society said: “We are angered and deeply upset to hear of antisemitic graffiti at Regents Park College, reported by students to be Nazi Swastikas'.

“Since October 7th, we have seen an overwhelming surge in antisemitism on campus, and this has only increased in recent weeks.”

It added: “We call on the university to show zero tolerance to the antisemitic and hostile atmosphere which has been allowed to flourish at Oxford University.”The police said that other protests were carried out more peacefully in other parts of Oxford.

Footage was shared on social media showing officers removing protestors but Thames Valley has said that it did not use excessive force.

A statement added: “We're aware of footage circulating on social media, which show our officers using lawful, proportionate and necessary action in the difficult circumstances they faced.”