Hate crime against London’s Orthodox Jewish community is under-reported, the Mayor of London has said.
Sadiq Khan pledged to organise “urgently” a meeting between the Metropolitan Police and the Stamford Hill Shomrim volunteer security group in response to data showing a spate of antisemitic incidents against strictly Orthodox Jews in the capital.
Andrew Dismore, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, tabled a motion to the mayor from Shomrim demanding to know how many of the 32 incidents of antisemitism reported by the group in a single month resulted in arrests by police in line with the mayor’s zero tolerance policy towards hate crime.
In a written response the mayor said: “That number of reports in a single month is of concern to me.
“Both I and the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) agree that hate crime is underreported and this is particularly true with regard to hate crime affecting London’s Orthodox Jewish communities.”
Stamford Hill Shomrim has said they fear the 32 incidents of antisemitism are “only the tip of the iceberg” of hate crime attacks.
The mayor said he was unable to confirm how many arrests were made as a result of the data because he was unclear in which month the 32 incidents occurred.
But he said the Metropolitan Police would now meet “urgently” with Shomrim to ensure the incidents were dealt with “correctly and effectively.”
Mr Khan said: “ My Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is familiar with the Shomrim and we recognise that they have been instrumental in providing third party reporting from a traditionally hard to reach community.
“I congratulate them on their efforts.
“My insistence on a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime will be reflected in my Police and Crime Plan for London, which is currently being developed.
“There will be an extensive consultation on the plan, offering Londoners the opportunity to express their views on how the challenge of hate crime will be met, and all other policing issues.
“The Shomrim and the Orthodox communities will have an important contribution to make to the plan and the activities that follow. “
Shomrim have said an average of eight antisemitic incidents are reported to them a week in Stamford Hill.
The group, which patrols the area of north-east London with the largest Charedi population in Europe, said it had recorded incidents of verbal abuse, threats to kill and physical violence against Jews.
Shomrim said it had received a total of 32 antisemitic incidents over a month-long period.
In a report, compiled with the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the group said six per cent of incidents involved threats to kill.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, said he welcomed the mayor’s comments.
He said: “I look forward to Shomrim working closely together with the mayor and the Metropolitan Police in challenging and reducing antisemitic incidents targeted at the Charedi community in London.”