Community Security Trust – www.thecst.org.uk
Antisemitic incidents increase by more than a third in first six months of 2014
The first six months of 2014 saw a 36% increase in the number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom, according to a new CST report. CST recorded 304 antisemitic hate crimes and hate incidents from January to June 2014, compared to 223 incidents in the corresponding period of 2013. A further 152 reports were received by CST but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total.
This total of 304 incidents does not include a further increase in July triggered by antisemitic reactions to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. Over 130 incidents have been recorded in July, making it the highest monthly total since January 2009; which was itself a reaction to a period of conflict in Israel and Gaza.
CST has recorded antisemitic incidents in the UK since 1984. The highest total for the first six months of the year was 629 incidents in 2009. There were 294 antisemitic incidents recorded in the first half of 2012 and 325 during the same period in 2011. There is no clear explanation for the sharp rise in recorded incidents in the first half of 2014, which may reflect both a rise in the number of incidents taking place and better reporting of incidents to CST and the Police.
The 304 antisemitic incidents include 22 violent antisemitic assaults, a fall of 32% from the 29 violent assaults recorded in the first half of 2013 and the lowest total for the January-June period since 2001. None were classified as ‘Extreme Violence’, which would involve a threat to life or grievous bodily harm (GBH).
There were 27 incidents of Damage & Desecration of Jewish property; 232 incidents of Abusive Behaviour, which includes verbal abuse, antisemitic graffiti, antisemitic abuse via social media and one-off cases of hate mail; 19 direct antisemitic threats; and 4 cases of mass-mailed antisemitic leaflets or emails.
The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in Greater London from January to June 2014 rose by 53%, from 94 antisemitic incidents in the first half of 2013 to 144 in the first half of 2014; while in Greater Manchester the number of incidents increased by 16%, with 96 recorded in the first six months of 2014 compared to 83 in the same period in 2013.
Fifty-four of the 304 antisemitic incidents recorded involved the use of social media to transmit antisemitic threats or abuse, compared to 35 such incidents in the same period of 2013. Incidents involving the use of social media are only recorded by CST if they have been reported by a member of the public who fulfils the role of a victim or witness; if the comment shows evidence of antisemitic content, motivation or targeting; and if the offender is based in the United Kingdom or has directly targeted a UK-based victim.
The highest monthly total in the six-monthly period was 62 antisemitic incidents recorded in June 2014. The lowest monthly total in the first half of 2014 was 39 incidents, recorded in March.
CST spokesman Mark Gardner said:
“There is no clear explanation for the rise to 304 antisemitic incidents, which may reflect both better reporting and a worsening of the problem. Even more worrying is that since the period covered by this report, CST has already recorded over 130 further antisemitic incidents. There is no excuse for this wave of racist intimidation and violence and we call upon all good people to unequivocally condemn it.”
John Mann MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, said:
“This is troubling news and from the feedback we are receiving, it is likely that the volume of antisemitic incidents will increase significantly before the years end. The role of politicians at the present time is fundamental to ensuring good community relations are maintained in the UK and elsewhere.”