Barnet tops anti-semitic hate crimes count, report reveals

Offensive material stuck to the doors of a London synagogue. Picture: CST

Offensive material stuck to the doors of a London synagogue. Picture: CST - Credit: Archant

Barnet still has the highest number of anti-semitic hate crime incidents in the country, the latest report has revealed.

An example of anti-semitic graffiti. Picture: CST

An example of anti-semitic graffiti. Picture: CST - Credit: Archant

The Community Security Trust (CST) says in Barnet in 2017 there were 282 incidents, a rise from 2016’s figure of 265. In Camden there were 45 and 31 in Haringey. In 2016 there were 77 in Camden and 48 in Haringey.

Across the country there were 1,382 recorded anti-semitic incidents in 2017 – the highest CST has ever recorded and a three percent increase on 2016’s figure of 1,346.

Responding to the report, published today CST boss David Delew said: “Hatred is rising and Jewish people are suffering as a result. This should concern everybody because it shows anger and division threaten all of society.”

He added: “We have the support of the government and police, but prosecutions need to be more visible and more frequent.”

The CST put the rises down to publicity following high-profile allegations of anti-semitism within the Labour Party and general increases in hate crime.

CST report these factors may have caused higher levels of offending and encouraged more reporting from victims or witnesses of anti-semitism.

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Home secretary Amber Rudd said: “Anti-semitism is a despicable form of abuse that seeks to undermine our values of diversity and openness and which has no place in British society.”

She added that in addition to the £13.4million of funding spent protecting Jewish sites each year, the government planned to look again at its strategy to tackle “this scourge”.

Secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Sajid Javid MP vowed to work with the police and CST to bring the perpetrators to justice. He also said it was good that more people felt confident enough to report hate crime.

His Labour Party counterpart Andrew Gwynne MP said the report’s findings were “extremely concerning”. He added: “No one should feel unsafe or discriminated against while going about their daily business. Hate has no place in our country and we must root it out.”

The most common type of incident in 2017 according to CST was verbal abuse in public. But incidents ranged from verbal assault in person or on social media to destruction of property and violent attacks.