There has been a 61percent increase in anti-Semitic crime in the past 12 months according to the latest statistics released by the Met Police.
A total of 483 anti-Semitic crimes were committed up until November 2015, increasing from 299 crimes from November 2014.
Hotspots included Westminster where there was a 178 percent increase, the London Borough of Hackney where there were 122 crimes, Tower Hamelts which had a 100 percent rise and Lambeth which had a 200percent increase.
Speaking to the Jewish News, the Met police said they are “committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms”, adding that they “take positive action to investigate all hate crime allegations, support victims and their families and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Reflecting on the figures, they said “there has been a rise in faith/religious hate crime, however the MPS believes these increases are down to a range of factors, including the improvements in crime recording, a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime; and an improved awareness of MPS staff to identify these offences.
They continued by trying to reassure the community, saying: “We continue to speak regularly with local synagogues, and also work closely with organisations representing different faiths regarding hate crime issues, such as the Community Security Trust [CST] for anti-Semitic hate crime.
In light of continuing world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious. Safer Neighbourhood Teams are providing a more targeted presence in key areas at key times, such as school routes, prayer times and holy days to give extra reassurance. “
CST told Jewish News: ““Any rise in antisemitic hate crimes is of concern. We hope that this reflects improved confidence amongst victims and witnesses to report hate crimes to the Police as well as any rise in the number of hate crimes taking place. It is a reminder that there remains a serious problem of antisemitic hate crime that we are working closely with the Police to try to tackle.””
Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of Communications at Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Since our inception we have pushed for zero tolerance of antisemitism under the law. It is vital that people report all incidents whether they are witnesses or victims.
The rise in recorded antisemitic crimes is worrying, but by better highlighting these crimes, we have encouraged the authorities to take firmer action than they have in the past, in cases from that of Nazi sympathising school teacher Mahmudul Choudhury, who was convicted and then banned from teaching for life in proceedings we instigated, to the sentencing of antisemitic propagandist Joshua Bonehill-Paine to more than three years following our prevention of the ‘Anti-Jewification’ rally in Golders Green that he inspired.”
A spokesperson from Hope NOT hate told Jewish News: “There are still far too many anti-Semitic, as well as anti-Muslim, incidents in our capital.
“Obviously some of these latest figures may reflect better reporting and recording of crimes, but it’s all too easy for haters to turn on minority communities during times of conflict and fear.
“It’s important to keep things in perspective, and understand that the vast majority of us are just getting on with our lives peaceably.
That said, we will stand firmly with the Jewish community against anyone who promotes anti-Semitic hatred — as we did this summer, during the Golders Green Together campaign — just as we will against those who promote organised hate against other communities.”
The Met police describe ‘an Anti-Semitic Offence is any offence which is perceived to be Anti-Semitic by the victim or any other person, that is intended to impact upon those known or perceived to be Jewish.’