In the good police procedural, the world-weary sergeant briefs officers on shift as to their priorities for the day: miscreants to watch out for, activities that deserve the blind eye, those that should be dealt with. If the ritual plays out in east London today, the briefing should be relatively simple: find out who flew a jihadist-style flag above a municipal housing estate in Tower Hamlets – find them fast and throw the book at them.

Perhaps it was a prank. But if so, it was a well-thought-through piece of mischief. The emblem, on top of the gates of the Will Crooks estate, on Poplar High Street, was surrounded by flags of Palestine and slogans.

Perhaps it was intended as a protest,a gesture of solidarity with those suffering terrible horrors in Gaza. Anyone who has seen a news bulletin must be touched and appalled by the plight of those caught up in a dreadful, murderous conflict.

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