British anti-Semitism fell in 2012, but rose in London

Violent incidents dropped sharply from previous year; verbal abuse remains most common form of attack

Illustrative photo: London Metropolitan Police. (CC BY/David Holt London via
Illustrative photo: London Metropolitan Police. (CC BY/David Holt London via

LONDON — Anti-Semitic incidents in the UK fell by 11 percent in 2012, according to figures released Thursday.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that monitors anti-Semitism and provides security for the Jewish community in Britain, recorded 540 incidents, compared to 608 in 2011.

In Greater Manchester, incidents fell by 34 percent, from 256 in 2011 to 169 in 2012.

In London, there were was a slight uptick, with 214 incidents reported to the CST compared to 203 the previous year.

However, the London Metropolitan Police recorded an additional 100 incidents, a figure it shared with the CST for the first time as part of a new data exchange program. Combining these with the CST figure totals 640 reported incidents in 2012, including 314 in London, with no comparative number available for 2011. The CST’s Manchester figures have included police data since 2011.

The charity welcomed the data exchanges “as providing an even better picture of the situation concerning anti-Semitic incidents, especially as hate crime is regularly subject to underreporting.

“We continue to encourage victims of anti-Semitic hate crime to report their experiences to CST and to the police, so we can give them the help they need and support the efforts of law enforcement to catch offenders and reduce incidents,” said spokesman Mark Gardner.

The most common type of incident involved verbal abuse directed at identifiably Jewish people in public. The CST recorded 69 violent assaults — down from 95 in 2011 — including two involving grievous bodily harm or a threat to life. These took place in Northern Ireland in March, when a Jewish schoolboy was knocked unconscious by a kick to the head after his class learned about the Holocaust, and in Glasgow in May, when a “visibly Jewish” couple were punched by a South Asian man in the street and required hospital treatment. The attacker, who suffers from mental illness, then shouted, “Are you Jewish?” at a non-Jewish man and stabbed him.

Other incidents included an Arab man shouting “dirty Jew” at a passerby in London in March, and throwing a full drinks can at his head. The reports also documented a driver who threw a penny at a rabbi walking home from synagogue while shouting, “There you go.”

The figures were boosted by a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents involving social media, with the CST recording 80 cases, compared to 12 in 2011.

“This reflects the growing relevance of social media as a place where Jews encounter anti-Semitism and the ease with which it can be reported from there directly to CST online, rather than being an absolute measure of the amount of anti-Semitism on social media platforms,” according to the CST report.

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