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Anti-Semitic incidents rise by 5 percent in Britain

JTA

February 7, 2013 | 11:03 am

Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose 5 percent over the previous year, making 2012 the third highest number of incidents on record.

The Community Service Trust, British Jewry's security unit, reported Thursday that there were 640 reported anti-Semitic incidents, compared to 608 in 2011.

Some 100 of the incidents were reported as part of a new joint program with the Metropolitan Police Service, the police force of the Greater London area. Under the new program, there was a reported 55 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in London. Without the police incidents, the report would have shown an 11 percent decrease in total incidents.

Sixty of the incidents were classified as "violent anti-Semitic assaults." The majority of the incidents, however, included verbal attacks and graffiti. Social media also was  a source of many of the incidents.

"While these statistics show more is being done to share information, they are a stark reminder of the presence of anti-Semitism in our society," said British lawmaker Eric Pickles, secretary of state for Communities and Local Government. "Every one of these incidents is an affront to decency, and we must continue to remain vigilant to these sort of attacks.

"It is encouraging that the Jewish community are now more confident in speaking out and reporting anti-Semitic incidents to the police and the Community Security Trust, as improved reporting of hate crime makes it easier to assess the scale of the problem and determine what further measures are needed."

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