Antisemitism has soared across UK since October 7, police figures show

The data comes from 31 of the 46 police forces across the UK


Protestors march against antisemitism on November 26, 2023 in London, England (Photo: Getty)

The UK’s largest police forces have recorded a sharp increase in the number of antisemitic hate crimes following the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, according to recently released figures.

The figures obtained by the PA news agency include full responses from 31 of the 46 police forces across the UK, with the data representing the weeks immediately following the Hamas attacks on October 7.

The Metropolitan Police, the largest force in the UK, reported 218 antisemitic offences between October 1 and 18 this year, compared with 15 over the same period in 2022.

The Greater Manchester Police recorded 74 antisemitic offences in the month following October 7, compared with 15 for the same period in 2022 and 14 in 2021, while West Yorkshire Police recorded 53, compared with 10 (2022) and 14 (2021).

West Midlands Police recorded 22 antisemitic offences from October 7 to November 7, compared with one (2022) and eight (2021), while Merseyside Police recorded 20 compared with four (both 2022 and 2021).

Hertfordshire Police recorded 17 antisemitic offences following October 7, compared with six (2022) and three (2021). Thames Valley police recorded 21 incidents of antisemitic offences after October 7, up from one (2022) and four (2021). 

In Kent, Lancashire, Humberside, Surrey and South Wales, police also recorded an increase in the numbers of antisemitic offences since October 7 compared with the two years prior.

The British Transport Police had one of the largest increases, recording 87 antisemitic offences in the month after October 7, up from eight in the same period in 2022 and 11 in 2021.

Methods for recording hate crimes are not consistent across police forces, so the data cannot be used to compare the number of offences between different areas. However, the figures presented by each jurisdiction indicate a notable surge in antisemitic offences in cities or across built-up areas.

The Community Security Trust (CST) called the findings "shocking" and said that they made clear "the extent of the unacceptable rise in anti-Jewish hatred across the country since the Hamas terror attack on October 7".

A spokesman for the Jewish charity told the JC: "The sharp increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes since October 7 shows just how easily and quickly antisemitism can be stirred into life.

"This is the reason why we have such extensive security already in place across the Jewish community. It is not something that can be switched on overnight but takes years of investment and training to build and maintain precisely, so that we are ready for moments like this.

"There is no doubt that the last three months have been an intensely difficult period for the Jewish community, but it is also a period that has displayed our strength, resilience, and determination not to allow antisemitism to derail our community."

CST recently released its own up-to-date figures totalling the number of antisemitic incidents recorded across the UK in the period between October 7 and 13 December. During the 68-day interval, the community watchdog organisation recorded at least 2093 antisemitic incidents in the UK, marking the highest ever total across a 68-day period.

According to their recently published findings, CST recorded 1,223 antisemitic incidents in Greater London; 338 in Greater Manchester; 66 in Hertfordshire; 49 in West Yorkshire; 39 in Scotland; 33 in the West Midlands; 29 in Sussex; 28 in Thames Valley; 19 in Avon & Somerset; 17 in Nottinghamshire; and the remaining 252 incidents were spread across 34 different police regions around the UK.

The Board of Deputies said the findings "provide further evidence of the huge upsurge in antisemitism following the Hamas massacre of October 7".

The Board said the rise in antisemitism had "caused enormous anxiety for Jewish people, particularly children and Jewish students on campus or indeed anyone easily identified as Jewish by their dress".

A spokesman added: "We call on police to take strong action against anyone found to be perpetrating hate crimes."

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "There is no place for hate in our society and we condemn the recent rise in reported antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

"We expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the CPS to make sure the cowards who commit these abhorrent offences feel the full force of the law.

"Following recent events, we have also made further funding available to Jewish and Muslim communities, to provide additional security at places of worship and faith schools."

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