Europe

As Violent Anti-Semitic Crimes Surge in UK, Prosecutions Decline

The United Kingdom-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) reported Sunday that anti-Semitic hate crimes in the country have surged 44% since 2014, making 2016 the worst year on record. However, in only 1.4% of cases was the attack followed by prosecution—just 15 cases last year.

One in 10 anti-Semitic crimes were of a violent nature, but only one crime involving violence was prosecuted by authorities in 2016. Almost half of police forces did not charge a single one of the anti-Jewish hate crimes reported to them.

CAA’s data shows that the rate of anti-Semitic crimes has escalated for the third year running and become a sad reality for British Jewry. In 2016, anti-Semitic crimes rose by 14.9% against 2015, or 44.5% against 2014. In 2016 alone, 1,078 hate crimes targeting Jews took place in the UK.

Despite promises from authorities to show zero-tolerance for anti-Semitism, the number of anti-Semitic crimes charged in 2016 dropped drastically again, with prosecutions falling by 30.5% compared to 2015, or 35.5% against 2014. Last year, only 89 anti-Semitic crimes resulted in charges against the perpetrators, meaning that only 8.3% of hate crimes against Jews resulted in prosecution.

“The failure of police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service to protect British Jews is a betrayal. The solutions are simple, but whilst the right promises are being made, little has been implemented,” said Gideon Falter, the chairman of CAA.

“The result is that British Jews continue to endure intolerable levels of hate crime … There is a very real danger of Jewish citizens emigrating, as has happened elsewhere in Europe unless there is radical change,” he added.

The UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has issued a statement promising to “consider the report’s recommendations carefully as we develop new ways to rid the country of this sickening crime.”

A complementary report of Community Security Trust issued earlier this year, working from independently compiled data, also found a sharp increase in anti-Semitic crimes during 2016.

[Photo: nikoretro /  Flickr ]