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Barnet sees highest level of anti-Semitic hate crime in the country, report shows

PUBLISHED: 16:34 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 28 July 2017

The highest number of anti-Semitic hate crime incidents recorded over the first six months of 2017 happened in Barnet, a report has shown. Picture: CST

The highest number of anti-Semitic hate crime incidents recorded over the first six months of 2017 happened in Barnet, a report has shown. Picture: CST

Archant

A charity monitoring anti-Semitic hate crime has revealed Barnet suffered the highest number in the country during the first six months of the year.

Between January and June the Community Security Trust (CST) recorded a total of 158 incidents in Barnet including 16 assaults, 14 threats and 112 cases of abusive behaviour.

This compares to nine assaults, 10 threats and 92 incidents of abusive behaviour for the first six months of 2016.

CST recorded 767 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in the first six months of the year, a 30 per cent increase from the 589 recorded over the same period in 2016 and the highest national total ever for the period.

Announcing £13.4m to protect Jewish sites and a further £900,000 for scheme to tackle hate crime, home secretary Amber Rudd MP said: “Anti-Semitism has no place in this country.

“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.

“We will continue to drive forward action and develop new ways to rid the country of anti-Semitism and hate crime.”

Calling for £400m planned police budget cuts to be abandoned, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore said: “These shocking statistics paint a damning picture of the persistently high levels of hatred directed at British Jews. Britain’s Jewish community continue to suffer.

“The rise in attacks raises a serious concern in my mind about cuts to London’s safer neighbourhood team, down from six in most London wards or nine in Barnet.

“Strong ward police teams were far better at picking up these crimes and gathering useful information. I fear that this has been lost, and the lack of police presence on the ground makes members of the Jewish community, more than many others, less safe.”

Shadow minister for communities Dawn Butler MP said: “The continued rise is appalling and is beginning to display a very worrying trend. We must combat and tackle the root cause of this criminality.”

A fall in incidents was recorded in Camden, where totals fell from 35 to 24 and in Haringey, which recorded a drop in incidents of more than 50pc, from 35 in the first half of 2016 to 14 for the same period this year.

According to CST the rise in recorded totals may reflect growth in concern about anti-Semitism in the Jewish community besides an increase in reporting from security guards protecting Jewish homes and CST’s information sharing agreements with police.

But CST say these factors alone do not explain the scale and breadth of the increase though it is likely the totals reflect a sustained rise in the baseline number of anti-Semitic incidents in an average month.

Police chiefs’ anti-Semitic issues lead Asst Ch Con Garry Shewan said: “I want to encourage anyone targeted in this way to report to their local police - officers will do all they can to bring offenders to justice.”

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