A political leader has written to a chief inspector just hours after a man entered a synagogue in the US and killed 11 people.

Hertsmere Labour leader Cllr Jeremy Newmark has been in touch with Hertsmere’s Steve O’Keeffe to seek assurances that Jewish community institutions across the borough are “protected”.

Robert Bowers, 46, is accused of shooting 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, during its Sabbath service on Saturday.

In light of the tragic events in Pittsburgh, Cllr Newmark wrote: “Over the past day, members of my group on the borough council and our colleagues at Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council have been reaching out to the Rabbinic and lay leadership of our Jewish community institutions – synagogues, schools, and charities.

“As a result of these conversations we know that our local Jewish community is feeling particularly vulnerable at this time.

“We know that you and your team do exemplary work in engaging and protecting all of our local faith communities. We also known you work closely with the Community Security Trust, Nevertheless, at this difficult time, we wanted to seek you reassurance that all necessary measures are in place to ensure the safety of Hertsmere’s Jewish community.”

Hertsmere has one of the largest Jewish populations in the whole of the UK.

In September, the borough’s police force announced it would be carrying out enhanced patrols of the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which was celebrated that month.

Speaking then, chief insp O’Keeffe said: “We introduced these joint uniformed patrols working closely with the CST to prevent anti-semitic hate crime and hate incidents.

“It is important that we respond to community concerns by providing regular, dedicated patrols at key locations, we hope to prevent antisemitism from occurring and reduce concerns about potential terrorist activity.”