In 2014, antisemitic crime broke all previous records. Many linked the surge in Jew-hatred across Britain to fighting between Israel and Hamas, and expected antisemitic crime levels to fall to a background level. That is not what happened.
Our team has analysed data provided from all of the police forces in the United Kingdom.
We now know that in 2015:
- Police forces recorded a 25.7% increase in hate crime against Jews, making it the worst year on record for antisemitic crime. The level of antisemitic crime was consistently high throughout the year.
- Violent antisemitic crime jumped by 50.8%. In 2014 violent acts accounted for 16.9% of all antisemitic crime, but by 2015 violent acts accounted for 20.3% of antisemitic crime.
- Despite the growth in antisemitic crime, police forces charged 7.2% fewer cases in 2015 than in 2014, meaning that only 13.6% of cases resulted in charges being brought.
- There was no change in the non-criminal antisemitic acts reported to the police, meaning that in 2015 a higher proportion of the antisemitic acts reported to the police were criminal.
When the current wave of antisemitism began in 2014, politicians and police chiefs were quick to promise tough action. The day after Campaign Against
Antisemitism rallied outside the Royal Courts of Justice, the Prime Minister echoed our call for zero tolerance law enforcement against antisemites.
The promised crackdown has not materialised. In far too many cases, rank and file police officers and prosecutors often do not recognise some of the forms of antisemitism, or fail to take it seriously. Officers and prosecutors are not being given sufficient training or oversight.
The results speak for themselves. Antisemitic crime is climbing fast, violence against Jews is soaring, and the police response is gradually getting worse. If Britain is to escape the fate of other European countries, where antisemitism and extremism are rife and Jews are leaving in their thousands, we must train our frontline police officers and prosecutors, and properly oversee them.
- Specific training and guidance on antisemitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors, produced in close consultation with us, in addition to the generic hate crime training that leaves officers and prosecutors ill-equipped to deal with the intricacies of antisemitism.
- A review of all forces by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the appointment of a senior officer in each force with responsibility for overseeing the response to antisemitic hate crime.
- Recording and regular publication by the Crown Prosecution Service of cases involving antisemitism and their outcomes.
This data should alarm those responsible for enforcing the law: they are failing British Jews badly. Britain has the political will to fight antisemitism and strong laws with which to do it, but in too many cases, those responsible for tackling the rapidly growing racist targeting of British Jews are failing to enforce the law.
If the situation continues to deteriorate, the Jewish community will be faced with the kind of rampant antisemitism seen in other European countries, which has left Jews feeling fearful and abandoned, many of them convinced that they have no choice but to emigrate.
The time to act was 2014. The authorities can still make up for lost time, but the window is closing. Britain’s fight against antisemitism and extremism cannot be allowed to fail.
Full details are contained in our National Antisemitic Crime Audit.