US/World News

Antisemitic crime rose 44% percent in Britain since 2014

(JTA) – Antisemitic crime in the United Kingdom rose 44 percent in the past two years, according to a new audit released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The 2016 National Antisemitic Crime Audit registered a total of 1,078 antisemitic crimes in 2016. It found that 105 of those crimes, or about one in 10, were violent, but that only one violent antisemitic crime was prosecuted. In total, only 15 cases were prosecuted, leading to the conviction of 17 criminals, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).

In 2015, 12 antisemitic crimes were prosecuted, of which three involved violence, leading to 17 convictions. In 2016, 89 antisemitic crimes resulted in charges being brought, meaning that only 8.3 percent of hate crimes against Jews resulted in charges. Some 48.9 percent of the police forces that received reports of antisemitic crime did not charge a single one of them, according to the CAA.

In its recommendations, the CAA called for specific training and guidance on antisemitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors, instructing Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to review all police forces’ responses to antisemitic crime, appoint a senior officer in each force with responsibility for overseeing the response to antisemitic hate crime and require the Crown Prosecution Service to record and regularly publish details of cases involving antisemitism and their outcomes, as police forces are already required to do.

Antisemitic crime has already been a factor in the initial months of 2017, with incidents including the firebombing of kosher restaurants in Manchester, a man chasing London Jews brandishing a meat cleaver and machete, and police closing down London streets to make way for a major pro-Hezbollah march.

The group only began keeping statistics in 2014, though other outlets such as the Community Security Trust, have been releasing figures for much longer. In February, the CST reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said her office is working to stop antisemitic hate crime. “We will consider the report’s recommendations carefully as we develop new ways to rid the country of this sickening crime,” she said in a statement.

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