Anti-Semitic Incidents in U.K. Increased Significantly Over Last 2 Years, Says Watchdog

Only 1 out of 105 violent anti-Semitic crimes in 2016 was prosecuted; British campaign calls for government review of police responses to anti-Semitism

Several days after a terror attack, clouds gather about London, U.K. skyscrapers on Monday, June 5, 2017.
Several days after a terror attack, clouds gather about London, U.K. skyscrapers on Monday, June 5, 2017.Credit: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Anti-Semitic crime in the United Kingdom rose 44 percent in the past two years, according to a new audit released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The 2016 National Antisemitic Crime Audit registered a total of 1,078 anti-Semitic crimes, including 105 that were violent – about one in 10. Only one of the violent crimes was prosecuted, according to the U.K. audit.

In total, only 15 cases were prosecuted, leading to the conviction of 17 suspects, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In 2015, 12 anti-Semitic crimes were prosecuted, of which three involved violence, leading to 17 convictions.

In 2016, 89 anti-Semitic crimes, or 8.3 percent, resulted in charges being brought. In nearly half the cases of anti-Semitic crimes, police did not find enough evidence to support charges, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA.

The previous year, there were 938 anti-Semitic crimes, according to CAA.

In its recommendations, the CAA called for specific training and guidance on anti-Semitic hate crimes for officers and prosecutors, instructing Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to review all the police forces’ responses to anti-Semitic crime, appoint a senior officer from each force to oversee the response to anti-Semitic hate crime, and require the Crown Prosecution Service to record and regularly publish details of cases involving anti-Semitism and their outcomes, as police forces are already required to do.

Anti-Semitic crime has already been a factor in the initial months of 2017, with incidents including the firebombing of kosher restaurants in Manchester, a man stopped by police after chasing Jews in London brandishing a meat cleaver and machete, and police closing down London streets to make way for a major pro-Hezbollah march.

The CAA only began keeping statistics in 2014, though other outlets such as the Community Security Trust have been releasing figures for much longer. In February, the CST reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said her office is working to stop anti-Semitic hate crime.

“Hate crime of any type is not acceptable,” she said in a statement. “Everyone in this country has the right to be safe from violence and persecution.”

Rudd added: “We will consider the report’s recommendations carefully as we develop new ways to rid the country of this sickening crime.”

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