London (archive)
London (archive) Nati Shohat/FLASH90

The leader of a Jewish neighbourhood watch group in a heavily Orthodox area of London, England is warning that over the past year antisemitic incidents in his area and other parts of the city have sharply increased.

Rabbi Hershel Gluck, the president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, told the Hackney Gazette that his volunteer run community safety organization has witnessed a “marked and sharp increase” in hate crimes against Jews in Hackney, where Stamford Hill is located, and the same increase has been felt in other parts of London.

“We are certainly very deeply shocked and troubled by the events that we have seen over the past year,” Rabbi Gluck said.

He explained that the antisemitic incidents have spread across London neighborhoods, including Islington, Camden and Hampstead.

While he praised the efforts of many poilce officers who he described as “extremely decent individuals” who “care deeply about all communities including the Jewish community,” he also blamed police inaction and lack of reporting for the dangerous increase in incidents.

“I think that It reflects a lack of a real concerted effort by the authorities to deal with this matter,” he said.

In December, a nine-year old Jewish boy was abducted and carried off by a teenage gang in Stamford Hill. The boy was later “dumped” in a front yard where he was found crying.

In August, Stamford Hill Shomrim held down a man who kicked in the door of a Jewish family’s house until the police arrived.

In March, a man followed a pregnant Jewish woman through an alleyway in Stamford Hill, catching up to her and forcing a black bag over her head. He then proceeded to punch her several times before fleeing.

A report from the London Metropolitan Police released over the summer examining rising levels of anti-Semitism found that there were 87 incidents in May, the highest number in three years.