Police 'fail to protect Jews as hate crimes rise'
16 July 2017 National News
Jewish people in Britain are being “betrayed” by police and prosecutors who are failing to clamp down on anti-Semitic crimes, it is claimed.
Suspected hate offences against them rose by almost 15% in 2016 compared with a year before, reaching the worst level on record, research suggests.
There are warnings that British Jews have to endure “intolerable” levels which have become the “new normality”.
Campaigners say 1,078 offences were recorded by police forces in the UK last year, compared to 938 in 2015 and 746 in 2014.
But the number of charges fell by 30.5% last year, with alleged perpetrators charged in fewer than a tenth of cases, they add.
Charges were brought in 83 cases – or 8.3% of offences recorded, said a report by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, following Freedom of Information requests.
Police recorded 105 violent offences against Jews in 2016 – down by 44% compared to 2015.
The campaign said it believed 15 alleged anti-Semitic crimes were prosecuted last year, following a review of its own and other charities’ data, as well as press reports.
Gideon Falter, chairman of the campaign, said: “The failure of police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service to protect British Jews is a betrayal.
“Britain has the political will to fight anti-Semitism and strong laws with which to do it, but those responsible for tackling the rapidly growing racist targeting of British Jews are failing to enforce the law.
“There is a very real danger of Jewish citizens emigrating, as has happened elsewhere in Europe unless there is radical change.”
But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it does not recognise the figures and it is wrong to claim it does not take prosecuting anti-Semitic crime seriously.
A CPS spokesman said: “Last year we prosecuted more hate crimes than ever before – more than 15,000 cases.”
The report recommends training and guidance on anti-Semitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors and called for watchdogs to examine police forces’ responses to the offences.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “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.”
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “The police service is committed to tackling all forms of intolerance and hate-motivated crime, but to do so we need all victims or witnesses to come forward and report these incidents to us.”