The number of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in the United Kingdom rose slightly in 2017 to 1,382 cases, marking a new all-time record, according to the annual report of the Community Security Trust (CST), British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism.
The number marks a 3-percent increase in 2017 over the previous year, according to JTA.
The report, published Wednesday night, found a 34-percent increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.
The most common single type of incident recorded by CST in 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public, accounting for a quarter of the annual tally, or 356 incidents.
CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. In 2013, the charity recorded only 535 incidents. That figure more than doubled in 2014, during Israel's counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge.
The 2015 tally comprised 960 incidents, followed by an increase to 1,346 cases in 2016.
In 420 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. In those cases, 57 percent were described as Europeans and 25 percent as Arab or black.
Figures released by CST last July found that there were 767 anti-Semitic attacks in the first half of 2017, the highest figure recorded within six months since monitoring began in 1984.
In its new reports, CST says there have been some improvements in the reporting of anti-Semitic incidents which may have contributed to the continued increase in incident numbers.
The increase in reporting may have owed in part to how allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour party, which were widespread in 2016, continued into 2017. “Therefore, antisemitism has attracted public debate and been reported on extensively in the national media,” CST noted in its report.
Much of the 2017 increase in incidents owed to their growing prevalence in Manchester, home to the kingdom’s second-largest Jewish community.
In the Greater Manchester area, CST recorded 261 incidents in 2017 compared to 206 in 2016, an increase of 27 percent. Meanwhile, incidents in London dropped by 7 percent in 2017 to a total of 773.
Just last June, two kosher restaurants were set on fire in Manchester in attacks local police investigated as “anti-Semitic hate crimes”.
One incident included in the report occurred in July in Hertfordshire, north of London. A group of visibly Jewish boys were followed by a group of boys and girls who shouted repeatedly, “I’m Hitler. I’m gonna gas you.”
In another, a group of young Jewish schoolchildren were physically and verbally attacked on a bus coming home from school in January 2017. They sat on the top deck of the bus when they were confronted by a group of teenagers, who persistently asked the victims if they were Jewish, if they attended a Jewish school and why they were not wearing “those silly hats,” according to the CST report. The attackers then hit, kicked and punched the Jewish schoolchildren who tried to get the attention of the bus driver but were ignored and remained trapped on the bus as the violence continued.
A study released last September found that more than a quarter of British people hold at least one anti-Semitic view.
Researchers also found a correlation in anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes.