The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has released statistics, stating that in 2016/17 it prosecuted 14,480 hate crimes.
Whilst the CPS says that it is prosecuting hate crime ferociously, we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen antisemitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of a paltry 21 prosecutions, in 2016 there were 20, and in 2015 there were just 12.
So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to privately prosecute alleged antisemites ourselves and challenge the CPS through judicial review, the first of which we won in March.
Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signalling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to antisemites that they need not fear the law.
Set against a backdrop of rising antisemitic crime, this is especially unacceptable. In 2014, antisemitic crime broke all records, but rather than being met with the full force of the law, antisemites have been able to target the Jewish community with relative impunity. Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for antisemitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, antisemitic crime surged by 45%.
The failure to prosecute cases of antisemitism appears to be making police reluctant to put effort into investigating antisemitism in certain cases because of fears that despite their work, the CPS may drop the case. Despite the rapid rise in antisemitic hate crime, charging of antisemitic crime dropped by 36% between 2014 and 2016.
The message sent to antisemites and British Jews is chilling. According to our 2017 polling, only 39% of British Jews feel confident that antisemitic hate crimes against them would be prosecuted, and 52% believe that the CPS is doing too little to fight antisemitism. Almost one in three British Jews considered leaving Britain due to antisemitism in the past two years.
The CPS must start to seriously address hate crime against Jews. If it is so proud of its record, why does it refuse to break down its hate crime prosecutions in the same way as police forces, to show how many antisemitism cases were referred and how many were prosecuted?
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.