UK

Anti-Semitic incidents in UK see sharp rise, figures suggest

  • 30 July 2015
  • From the section UK
Police and locals in Stamford Hill
Image caption Figures suggest 473 anti-semitic incidents were recorded from January to June this year

The number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the UK has increased by more than 50%, figures released by a charity have suggested.

There were 473 recorded anti-Semitic incidents between January and June this year, a 53% rise from 2014, according to the Community Security Trust.

Trust chief executive David Delew welcomed increases in crime reporting, but said the figures caused "anxiety".

Home Secretary Theresa May said anti-Semitism had "no place in Britain".

The CST - a charity that monitors anti-Semitism - said the 473 recorded incidents included 44 violent assaults and two involving "extreme violence".

Spontaneous acts

There were 35 instances of damage and desecration of Jewish property, and 88 cases of abuse or threats on social media, according to the charity.

One third were said to be random, spontaneous acts of verbal abuse directed at Jewish people in public.

The CST said the main explanation for the rise was a greater willingness to report incidents.

Separate figures - released by individual UK police forces - showed 459 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded by the Metropolitan Police in London in 2014/15, up from 193 in 2013/14.

In Greater Manchester, anti-Semitic reports increased from 82 to 172.

Image caption A Kosher supermarket was targeted in the Paris attacks in January

The figures come after a number of terror attacks in Europe.

A Kosher supermarket was targeted in the Paris attacks in January, while the following month a Jewish man was killed near the main synagogue in Copenhagen.

'Difficult and unsettling'

Mr Delew said: "The terrorist attacks on European Jews earlier this year, following the high levels of anti-Semitism in 2014, were a difficult and unsettling experience for our Jewish community.

"We welcome the apparent increase in reporting of anti-Semitic incidents, but regret the concern and anxiety about anti-Semitism that this reflects."

Mrs May said the government would act against "all those who seek to divide our country and sow discord".

Communities minister Baroness Williams said anti-Semitism and hate crimes were "vile, wrong and totally unacceptable in our society" and were "an affront to the British values that we hold dear".

"Whilst one anti-Semitic incident is one too many, it is positive that members of the Jewish community now feel more able to speak out against these pernicious crimes knowing that their government will hear their voice and act decisively to protect them," she said.

National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, said: "Both CST and police data show that reports of anti-semitism have risen since the terror attacks in Europe.

"Rather than a significant increase in the number of incidents taking place, this is likely to reflect the fact that Jewish communities are now more concerned about their safety and more vigilant."

He said patrols had been increased in "key areas" and chief officers regularly talked to community leaders of all faiths.

Police were committed to supporting victims, bringing offenders to justice and tackling the root causes, he added.

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