Anti-Semitic attacks in UK reach record high

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Attacks against Jewish people in the UK have reached “unprecedented” levels, new figures show.

A Jewish charity that monitors anti-Semitic abuse has recorded the highest level of reported hate crimes since statistics were first kept 33 years ago.

A total of 767 reports were made in the first six months of 2017, a rise of 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The report by the Community Security Trust (CST) showed an “unprecedented” amount of attacks against the Jewish community each month since April 2016.

In the first six months of this year, 80 violent assaults were reported, as well as verbal abuse, graffiti, vandalism and hate mail.

Almost a fifth of incidents were involved on social media, including targeted hate campaigns, neo-Nazi posts and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

CST chief executive David Delew said: “Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on British Jews and hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading.”

Seventy-four per cent of all the incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, which have the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.

There is no obvious single cause for the record total, according to the CST, which has recorded the data since 1984, but the rise may partly be driven by growing concern over anti-Semitism, as well as increased reports from security guards and information sharing agreements with British police forces.

The figures come after the police and CPS were accused of “betraying” British Jews as they recorded a significant increase in hate crime. 

Attacks included verbal abuse at Jewish people in public, extremists attacking synagogues or doing the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute or painting swastikas on community centres or places of worship.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the government’s Hate Crime Action Plan had helped to improve reporting and that the government is providing £13.4 million to protect Jewish sites.

She said: “I am clear that one such incident is one too many, and we will continue to do everything we can to stamp out the hatred and division that blights our communities.”

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