British police working to calm tensions over Gaza

Sir Peter Fahy

Sir Peter Fahy

A senior police officer has said forces across the country are working to calm tensions over Gaza that have spilled over into antisemitic incidents.

Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police and a vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said a balance must be found between the right to protest and a risk of serious disruption.

He said the level of antisemitism had risen in a similar way to incidents directed at Muslims following the murder of Lee Rigby last year.

Sir Peter said: “Protests linked to Gaza have passed off with little or no incident, however, they have created tension in some parts of the country with the police ensuring that the fundamental right to protest is balanced with ensuring that protests do not cause serious disruption to community life.

“After any significant global conflict, we monitor for any rise in retribution attacks, which are never excusable.

“We often see initial rises in hate crime but we do normally see that level of tension dropping off as the conflict subsides.

“Police forces around the country are working closely with communities to assist, advise and monitor the situation.”

The officer said it was important for the police to take a measured response and “get the balance right” when dealing with demonstrations.

Last updated: 10:51am, August 15 2014