Antisemitic and Islamophobic offences up 1,353% and 140% in London amid Israel-Hamas war
A Met Police spokesperson said that so far, officers have visited 445 schools and 1,930 places of worship.
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Soon after the assault by Hamas, in which more than 1,400 Israelis were killed, the Met said it would be increasing its presence across the capital, particularly in areas where the levels of concern are highest.
A spokesperson has now said that so far, officers have visited 445 schools and 1,930 places of worship.
Despite these efforts, between October 1 and October 18, 218 antisemitic offences and 101 Islamophobic offences were recorded, up from 15 and 42 in the same period last year. These represent rises of 1,353% and 140%, respectively.
A total of 21 arrests have been made for hate crime offences, with investigations into many more “ongoing”.
This week a man was arrested on suspicion of defacing posters of missing Israelis in Camden, while another man was detained in relation to 10 incidents of Islamophobia graffiti on bus stops in New Malden and Raynes Park.
In the 14 days since the attack by Hamas, the Jewish Community Security Trust (CST) says it has recorded at least 533 antisemitic incidents across the UK, the highest ever reported to the group over a two-week period.
This includes 296 incidents in London, with examples of some of the offences being posters of Jewish hostages being removed, and an antisemitic letter being sent to a Jewish school.
Commenting on the protests held in London to-date, the Met spokesperson said that “while there have been pockets of disorder and some instances of hate speech, the majority of the protest activity has been lawful and has taken place without incident”.
A significant demonstration is expected tomorrow (October 21) in central London, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which will proceed from Marble Arch to Whitehall.
On the planned protest, the Met spokesperson said: “We will police this demonstration impartially, protecting the right to protest while intervening or gathering evidence for subsequent investigation where offences take place.
“We will not stand by if we see examples of hate crime taking place. We will intervene.”
Chief Inspector Rob Gibbs told the Standard: “The vast majority of what we are seeing is anti-Semitic and when there’s crime, our response is swift.
“There is genuinely a level of concern, and even probably fear, in the Jewish community and I don’t think we’ve seen that before.
“I talk a lot to faith leaders and councillors. They’re talking about once in a generation concern right now.
“The Jewish community very much want to see us being visible in the area.
“I want people to be safe and continue contacting us via 999, 101 or stopping officers in the street so we have the full intelligence picture.”
Earlier this week, the chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, told LondonWorld: “We hope and pray that this war will end soon and urge our politicians to call for an immediate ceasefire so many innocent lives from both sides can be saved.”