CST Blog

CST prepares Police and volunteers for the High Holy Day period

31 August 2018

Last night, CST hosted the annual High Holy Day briefing in London for Police, CST security volunteers and others. The aim of the briefing is to present the risks facing the Jewish community during the High Holy Day period as well as the joint CST and Police security operation which will be running.

The event was one of several CST will be holding and a briefing in Birmingham took place as well. CST will also be hosting several others across the country, including in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, to ensure all volunteers and Police are aware of the challenges facing the community.

In London, CST Chief Executive, David S Delew, discussed the serious security challenges facing Jews in the UK today. After considering the terror attacks that have hit the UK in the past two years, David stated:

“Here at CST, we didn’t need a wakeup call. We are all acutely aware of the deadly threat we face – this is exactly why CST exists and does its work to protect our community not just for the forthcoming Jewish festivals, but all year round.”

David also addressed the crucial work which CST has been undertaking to address this threat, including upskilling all the CST security volunteers and managing the Government grant to provide commercial security guards for Jewish schools and high profile Jewish communal buildings.

CST was pleased to welcome the UK National Head of Counter Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who also addressed the audience. Neil is no stranger to CST and has worked closely with us in recent years, previously having served as a Borough commander in Barnet.

CST Chairman Gerald Ronson CBE thanked those who attended and especially thanked CST’s friends from the Police who work tirelessly to protect our Jewish community throughout the year. Gerald stressed the importance and significance of the physical threat and underlying antisemitism which threatens Jews in Britain today:

“This isn’t a game. You know the reality of what we are dealing with. This is what we train for and that is why I do everything I can to give you what you need to get the job done.”

CST Director of Communications, Mark Gardner, outlined in detail the current threats facing the community. This included a breakdown of antisemitic incidents recorded by CST as well as the various jihadist terror attacks and foiled plots which have hit the community both in Britain and in Europe over the last few years. Mark examined the far-right terror threat, which is becoming increasingly more violent, often underpinned by virulent antisemitism. This includes the murder of Jo Cox MP, the murder of Akram Ali outside Finsbury Park mosque, and the proscription and recent trials of alleged National Action members. Following this, CST’s Deputy Director of Research looked at the security implications of these threats, including security lessons learnt.

CST’s Head of Security for London and the Southern Regions tackled the question of how Jewish communal buildings can stay safe and secure. He highlighted the joint security operation between the Police and CST across the country and specifically outlined how CST will protect our Jewish community and help to mitigate the threats.

CST would like to thank all those, including volunteers and Police, that attended the briefings in London and Birmingham this week and wishes the community a safe and peaceful High Holy Day period.

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