The lack of action in bringing the perpetrators of antisemitic hate crimes to justice “is unacceptable”, Jewish Community leaders and the Home Secretary have agreed.
The point was made during a meeting of a new government taskforce set up to improve the police response to antisemitism this week.
Known as the Jewish Community Crime, Policing and Security Taskforce, its establishment was ordered in March by Suella Braverman.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that while people wearing T-shirts making fun of Hillsborough stadium disaster victims have in the past been prosecuted but protesters waving banners bearing swastikas have not - a discrepancy that those present agreed was “unacceptable”.
Braverman chaired the meeting on Tuesday. Also present were the policing minister Chris Philp, CST chief Mark Gardner, Matt Jukes, the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner in charge of special operations including counter-terrorism; senior officers from a further six police forces covering areas with large Jewish communities, and representatives from the College of Policing, which issues guidelines for police training.
“It was a highly focused meeting that tackled the question of how the police can improve their response to antisemitism head-on,” one source who was present told the JC.
The JC understands that one of the issues discussed was the policing of demonstrations, where the police have often failed to arrest those chanting antisemitic slogans or carrying placards bearing the Nazi swastika.
Also on the agenda were improvements to police training on how to recognise and deal with antisemitic hate crime when it occurs.
The taskforce is to meet three times each year. The police were told to go away and begin to come up with solutions, the source said.
It comes after she told the JC in an interview in March that she was “appalled” by recent failures to bring the perpetrators of antisemitic hate crimes to justice.
Braverman said in March that the police had sometimes regarded antisemitism as “racism lite”, and it is understood that she made clear at the meeting that this had to change.
She said she had been especially dismayed by the failure to bring to justice those responsible Chanukah 2021 Oxford St bus attack and the incident which saw a convoy descend on Golders Green whose members screamed they wanted “f*** the Jews” and “rape their daughters”.
Gardner told the JC after the meeting that he sincerely hoped the taskforce would be “the start of a process that will see tangible improvements to the policing of antisemitism and anti-Jewish extremism.”
He added: “The commitment to this issue shown by the Home Secretary, the Policing Minister and the senior police officers from across the country who all attended the meeting is deeply appreciated and shows the seriousness with which police and government take the challenge of reducing the anti-Jewish hatred that our community faces."