Concerns raised by high-profile terror attacks on Jews in Europe have led to increased reporting of antisemitic incidents in Britain, the Community Security Trust has said.
Issuing new figures revealing an increase in Jew hatred in the first half of the year, the charity said heightened awareness and greater “concern and anxiety” about attacks on Jewish communities had led to more cases being recorded.
CST was alerted to dozens of cases in the weeks after the attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris in January which left four Jews dead, and the shooting of a volunteer security guard outside a synagogue in Copenhagen the following month.
Home Secretary Theresa May welcomed the fact that more antisemitic incidents were being reported.
She said: “It is encouraging that more people are coming forward as the under-reporting of hate crime is a real issue.READ: ‘Our community felt a greater compulsion to report antisemitism’
INFOGRAPHIC: Breakdown of antisemitic incidents
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are concerned about safety in their community, and we are listening. Those who seek to spread antisemitic hatred should know that the government will act against all those who seek to divide our country and sow discord.”
Between January and the end of June, 473 antisemitic incidents were recorded by CST — a 53 per cent increase on the same period in 2014, when there were 309 incidents.
This year’s figure was also more than double that for the first six months of 2013, when there were 223 reported cases.
CST said it was unlikely there had been a spike in antisemitism during the past six months, but attributed the rise to “more reporting”.
Chief executive David Delew said: “The terrorist attacks on European Jews earlier this year, following the high levels of antisemitism in 2014, were a difficult and unsettling experience for our Jewish community.
“We welcome the apparent increase in reporting of antisemitic incidents but regret the concern and anxiety about antisemitism that this reflects. We will continue to work with police, government and other partners to reduce antisemitism and to protect our Jewish community.”
CST’s report, published on Thursday, showed the number of violent attacks on Jews had doubled compared to the same period last year. Of the 44 violent antisemitic incidents, two were in the “extreme” category and were life-threatening.
Jewish school-related cases more than doubled to 20, and incidents reported at synagogues more than quadrupled to 25. That category included cases of rabbis being targeted on their way to or from shul.
At buildings run by Jewish organisations and charities there were twice as many incidents year-on-year. Additional statistics provided by CST showed the reporting of incidents in Britain on the days of the Paris and Copenhagen attacks were low.
But in the following weeks, after heightened communal concern and media reporting of CST’s work, the numbers rose significantly. Some people reporting historic incidents said they had been previously unaware of the charity.
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Once again we see the national rise in antisemitic incidents and crimes being mirrored on the streets of Greater Manchester.
“What I believe we are seeing in this 38% rise in reports is actually increasing confidence within our Jewish communities that Greater Manchester Police, working alongside the CST, will take all reports of hate crime seriously. We can only look to end antisemitism if we are made aware when it occurs.
Click on the graph above to open up an interactive infographic of the full figures