The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain has fallen from record levels but still remains high, with conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic playing a role, a Jewish advisory body said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which advises Britain’s Jews on security matters, said there had been 1,668 incidents in 2020, a fall of 8% from the previous year which had been the highest on record.

Despite the decrease, however, the CST said it was still the third-highest number they had reported since the data was first collected in 1984.

The CST said there had been 41 incidents connected to the pandemic, from conspiracy theories of Jewish involvement in spreading the disease for malevolent and financial purposes, to expressions of hope that Jews would catch the virus and die.

Although there were fewer incidents at schools or synagogues because of strict pandemic lockdowns, there was a rise in cases at people’s homes, the report said.

Of the total incidents, 100 were rated as violent, a 39% fall from the year before.

In July, the CST said it had recorded the third-highest number of anti-Semitic incidents for the first six months of a year, despite the coronavirus pandemic leading to a slight decrease in overall incidents.

There has been an increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in recent years. In 2019, the number increased for the fourth consecutive year, reaching a record tally of 1,805 cases.

Overall, the increase over 2018 was of 7%, but the category of assault increased by 27% to 157 incidents.