Britain Pledges $17 Million to Protect Synagogues, Jewish Schools

The decision follows reports of 924 anti-Semitic incidents, including 86 violent assaults, taking place in the U.K. in 2015.

File photo: A police officer patrols in a Jewish neighborhood of north London, U.K., January 17, 2015.
File photo: A police officer patrols in a Jewish neighborhood of north London, U.K., January 17, 2015. Stefan Wermuth, Reuters

The British home secretary, Amber Rudd, pledged $17 million on Wednesday to provide guards for every Jewish school, college, synagogue and nursery school, the Telegraph of London reported.

Speaking at a U.K.-Israel parliamentary conference, Rudd, whose ministry is responsible for crime prevention, said she was compelled to act following reports to the Jewish Community Security Trust of 924 anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 alone, including 86 violent assaults.

"Sadly the Jewish community knows all too well what it’s like to live with the threat from terrorism and hate crime," the home secretary said. “We take the security of the Jewish community seriously, and we will continue to put in place the strongest possible measures to ensure the safety of this community – and all other communities too,” she said, according to the Telegraph.

“We are providing £13.4million [$17 million] for guarding at all Jewish state, free and independent schools, colleges, and nurseries, and at synagogues, and to support the continuing efforts of the police to provide security and reassurance to the Jewish community.

The British government was due to launch a campaign on Thursday to combat hate crime in general around the country, the Guardian reported. The campaign follows a spike in hate crime, notably directed against immigrants to Britain, following the June Brexit referendum in which a majority of British voters cast ballots in support of leaving the European Union.

Damage to a north London synagogue, 2015.
AFP