Hate Crimes Against Members of London’s Largest Jewish Community Doubled This Year
Hate crimes against members of the largest Jewish community in London almost doubled in 2015, according to statistics released on Wednesday by Scotland Yard.
Hackney’s Stamford Hill district, which is home to 30,000 Hassidic Jews, had a record number of antisemitic incidents, a total of 122 in the last 12 months. This adds up to one anti-Jewish crime every three days.
A spokesperson for Shomrim, the area’s Jewish neighborhood watch group, told the Evening Standard the group assisted in more than 20 arrests connected to antisemitic crimes in the area in 2015. Shomrim president Rabbi Herschel Gluck said the figures are “of deep concern.”
“While this might be explained by some as being a result of better reporting, it still demonstrates the depth and persistence of this grave problem, which needs to be urgently and properly dealt with,” he said.
Throughout the year, schools and public spaces in the north London borough have been defaced with swastikas and antisemitic slogans; anti-Jewish leaflets have been distributed; and neo-Nazis have shouted racist abuse at passersby, the Evening Standard reported.
Community leaders believe the number of antisemitic attacks in Stamford Hill are even higher than statistics reveal. They insist crimes, such as a tire-slashing spree in November 2014, should have been classified as antisemitic. The assailant of the tire-slashing rampage, UK native Huseiyn Seyfi, was cleared of committing racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage by a jury. Shomrim coordinator Barry Bard said many in Stamford Hill still “believe the attacks were targeted and antisemitic.”
The Algemeiner previously reported on white supremacist Joshua Bonehill and his planned anti-Jewish rallies in Stamford Hill earlier this year before he was jailed in December for publishing material to incite racial hatred.