CST Antisemitic Incidents Report 2013

6 Feb 2014 by CST

Incidents Report 2013

CST's Antisemitic Incidents Report 2013 is published today and shows an 18% fall in the number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom in 2013 compared to 2012.

CST recorded 529 antisemitic incidents across the country during 2013, compared to 649 incidents in 2012. A further 465 reports were received but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total.

CST has recorded antisemitic incidents in the UK since 1984. The highest annual total in that period came in 2009, when 931 antisemitic incidents were recorded by CST.

There has been no change in CST’s recording systems or patterns of incident reporting to explain this fall, which is most likely to reflect a genuine decrease in the number of antisemitic incidents that took place in the United Kingdom during 2013, when compared to 2012. The previous year had seen two ‘trigger events’ that caused the number of recorded incidents to temporarily increase, or ‘spike’. These were the shooting of three Jewish children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, in March 2012, and an escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and southern Israel in November 2012. There were no such spikes in 2013, which is the most obvious explanation for the overall decrease in incidents.

It is likely that there is significant underreporting of antisemitic incidents to both CST and the Police, and that the number of antisemitic incidents that took place is significantly higher than the number recorded in this report. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency 2013 survey of Jewish experiences and perceptions of antisemitism in the EU found that 72% of British Jews who had experienced antisemitic harassment over the previous five years had not reported it to the Police or to any other organisation; 57% of British Jews who had experienced antisemitic violence or the threat of violence had not reported it; and 46% of British Jews who had suffered antisemitic vandalism to their home or car had not reported it. The same survey also found that, over the previous 12 months, 21 per cent of British Jews had suffered antisemitic harassment, 3 per cent had suffered antisemitic violence or the threat of violence and 2 per cent had experienced antisemitic vandalism to their home or car. Similarly, the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that around 40% of all hate crimes come to the attention of the Police.

The 529 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2013 included 69 violent antisemitic assaults, the same number as was recorded in 2012 and the lowest number of antisemitic assaults recorded in a single year since 2003. None were classified as ‘Extreme Violence’, which would involve a threat to life or grievous bodily harm (GBH).

There were 49 incidents of Damage & Desecration of Jewish property; 368 incidents of Abusive Behaviour, including verbal abuse, antisemitic graffiti, antisemitic abuse via social media and one-off cases of hate mail; 38 direct antisemitic threats; and 5 cases of mass-mailed antisemitic leaflets or emails.

The most common single type of incident in 2013 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public. In 185 incidents, the victims were ordinary Jewish people, male or female, attacked or abused while going about their daily business in public places. In 89 of these incidents, the victims were visibly Jewish, usually due to their religious or traditional clothing, school uniform or jewellery bearing Jewish symbols.

Eighty-six of the 529 antisemitic incidents recorded involved the use of social media to transmit antisemitic threats or abuse, compared to 81 such incidents in 2012. Incidents involving the use of social media are only recorded by CST if they have been reported by a member of the public who fulfils the role of a victim or witness; if the comment shows evidence of antisemitic content, motivation or targeting; and if the offender is based in the United Kingdom or has directly targeted a UK-based victim.

The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in Greater London fell by 23%, from 318 antisemitic incidents in 2012 to 246 in 2013, while in Greater Manchester the number of recorded incidents rose slightly, with 172 incidents recorded in 2013 compared to 170 in 2012.

The Antisemitic Incidents Report 2013 can be downloaded in full here (pdf) and the Executive Summary can be downloaded here (pdf).


Antisemitic graffiti, High Wycombe, September 2013

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“I never stop being amazed at the professional, selfless and totally dedicated commitment shown by the CST staff and volunteers. Our community is indebted to CST for the comprehensive protection the organisation provides, which sadly is so very necessary at this time.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth