Anti-Semitism at highest level in UK, audit finds

Anti-Semitic crimes reach record in Great Britain, with 1,078 anti-Jewish crimes last year.

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Definition of anti-Semitism
Definition of anti-Semitism
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JTA - Anti-Semitic crime has risen to its highest level in the United Kingdom, according to a new audit released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

According to the National Antisemitic Crime Audit released on Sunday, anti-Semitic crime in 2016 rose 44 percent from 2014.

The audit for 2016 registered a total of 1,078 anti-Semitic crimes in 2016. The audit found that 105 of those crimes or about 1 in 10 anti-Semitic crimes were violent but that only one violent anti-Semitic crime was prosecuted. In total, only 15 cases were prosecuted, leading to the conviction of 17 criminals, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA. In 2015, 12 anti-Semitic crimes were prosecuted, of which 3 involved violence, leading to 17 convictions.

In 2016, 89 anti-Semitic crimes resulted in charges being brought meaning that only 8.3 percent of hate crimes against Jews resulted in charges. Some 48.9 percent of the police forces which received reports of anti-Semitic crime did not charge a single one of them, according to CAA.

In its recommendations, the CAA called for specific training and guidance on anti-Semitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors, instructing Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to review all police forces’ responses to anti-Semitic crime, appointing a senior officer in each force with responsibility for overseeing the response to anti-Semitic hate crime, and requiring the Crown Prosecution Service to record and regularly publish details of cases involving anti-Semitism and their outcomes, as police forces are already required to do.

Anti-Semitic crime has already been a factor in the initial months of 2017, with incidents including the firebombing of kosher restaurants in Manchester, a man stopped by police after chasing Jews in London brandishing a meat cleaver and machete, and police closing down London streets to make way for a major pro-Hezbollah march.

The group only began keeping statistics in 2014, though other outlets such as the Community Security Trust, have been releasing figures for much longer. In February, the CST reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said her office is working to stop anti-Semitic hate crime.

“Hate crime of any type is not acceptable. Everyone in this country has the right to be safe from violence and persecution. We are working together to tackle anti-Semitic hate crime in all its forms and using the full force of the law to protect every person in the UK. Our Hate Crime Action Plan has encouraged further action against hate crime across the police and criminal justice system. This includes encouraging more victims to report incidents to the police. We will consider the report’s recommendations carefully as we develop new ways to rid the country of this sickening crime,” she said in a statement.