New figures revealed by the Community Security Trust (CST) this week show that antisemitic incidents against the Jewish community in the UK have reached “unprecedented” levels – with the highest levels of hate crimes against Jews since records began 33 years ago.
A total of 767 reports were made in the first six months of this year, an increase of 30% from the 589 reports in the same period of 2016. Eighty violent assaults were reported – a 78% rise from the 45 reported last year, as well as 351 reports of verbal abuse at Jewish people in public, including people doing the ‘Heil Hitler’ sign. There were also 51 reports of attacks and damage to Jewish property which includes the painting of swastikas on synagogues. Almost a fifth (142) of incidents involved the use of social media, including targeted hate campaigns, neo-Nazi posts and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
570 of the incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, which have the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.
CST chief executive David Delew said while some of the numbers may have come from improved reporting, it was “sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated” with figures almost twice as bad as they were five years ago.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd underlined: “Antisemitism has no place in this country, which prides itself on openness, diversity and tolerance”.
The Home Secretary said the Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan had helped to improve reporting, but added: “I am clear that one such incident is one too many, and we will continue to do everything we can to stamp out the hatred and division that blights our communities”.
She added that the Government is providing £13.4m to protect Jewish sites including schools and synagogues, and £900,000 for “innovative schemes to tackle various types of hate crime”.
Communities Secretary, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP described the rise as “completely unacceptable” and said the Government would work to ensure offenders were subject to the full force of the law.