Police treat antisemitism as ‘racism lite’ says Home Secretary

Speaking to JC, Suella Braverman blames failure to catch convoy thugs on officers not taking antisemitism seriously


The Home Secretary has said a culture in the police of treating antisemitism as “racism lite” was to blame for the failure to convict thugs who bully Jews, including those who drove through north London’s Jewish community threatening to “f*** the Jews” and “rape their daughters”.

Speaking exclusively to the JC, Suella Braverman said officers had been too slow to respond to reports of the convoy in 2021 because they didn’t take antisemitism seriously enough — and she vowed to change the “outrageous” state of affairs.

The Home Secretary said: “When I think back to the anti-Israel convoy that drove through north London blasting antisemitic filth, it’s just outrageous that those people weren’t brought to justice.

“I think part of the reason for that was that police response just wasn’t quick enough.”

Abusive behaviour towards Jews tended to be “accepted” and “normalised”, she said. By contrast, such bullying would have “triggered a very firm response from law enforcement” if it was directed at other minorities.

Last year, the Metropolitan Police caused outrage by dropping two other investigations, despite extensive CCTV, mobile phone footage and multiple witnesses.

One crime targeted a bus of youngsters on Oxford Street on Chanukah, while the other was a knife attack in West Hampstead by a man declaring he wanted to “find a Jew to kill”.

In the case of the knife assault, detectives did not even attempt to access CCTV, saying it would amount to a “fishing expedition”, the JC revealed at the time. The attackers remain at large.

Lord Carlile, the former government reviewer of anti-terror legislation, described the aborted investigations it as an “institutional failure to prioritise significant cases involving serious danger to members of the public”.

Braverman said there was “absolutely a double standard” that had to be addressed.

“We need to be really clear,” she told the JC. Antisemitism is not racism lite.” Her comments came as she unveiled a £1 million increase in the Home Office grant to the Community Security Trust (CST), making the total £15million, and the establishment of a new antisemitism Taskforce, announced at the CST dinner on Wednesday.

Chaired by the Home Secretary, the Jewish Community Police, Crime and Security Taskforce will consist of the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the CST and Home Office officials.

The Taskforce, she said, “will help ensure that we are properly reflecting and responding to the community’s security concerns. It’s about accountability and making sure we’re as joined up as we can be.”

Braverman said she was confident that Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley and Greater Manchester chief Constable Stephen Watson were already determined to remedy past defects. “They are strong supporters of the Jewish community,” she said.

Chanting slogans like “from the river to sea, Palestine will be free” and expressions of support for Hamas and Hezbollah will no longer be tolerated by police, Braverman said.

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