London’s Metropolitan Police have reported a significant increase in antisemitic crimes, recording a staggering 1,350% surge since the beginning of the month. Figures released by The Met on Friday revealed that 218 antisemitic offenses were documented in London from the start of October until October 18th. This represents a substantial rise compared to the same period last year, which saw only 15 incidents reported. However, the police force has made 21 arrests so far, resulting in less than 7% of cases leading to an arrest, while ongoing investigations continue.
The Met stated that despite increased patrols in heavily Jewish areas, they have witnessed a drastic 1,353% increase in antisemitic offenses this month. These offenses include abuse directed at individuals or groups in person or online, racially or religiously motivated criminal damage, and other related crimes. The police force also noted a 140% rise in Islamophobic offenses, from 42 during the same period last year to 101.
The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity dedicated to preventing antisemitic crimes against the Jewish population in Britain, acknowledged that such crimes tend to escalate during times of conflict in Israel and Palestine. However, the current increase appears to be larger than usual. Dave Rich, the policy director for CST, expressed his concern over the recurring pattern, stating that it is shameful and appalling that such incidents persist in modern Britain.
In response to the surge in antisemitic attacks, the Union of Jewish Students revealed that younger Jews have been avoiding wearing religious symbols in public to minimize the risk of being targeted. Similar warnings have been issued in Germany, which has also experienced a rise in antisemitism following the Hamas terror attacks on Israel on October 7th.
The release of these statistics preceded a large pro-Palestinian protest in London. The Metropolitan Police warned protesters that displaying symbols supportive of proscribed terrorist organizations like Hamas would lead to arrest. The police force also stated that certain chants would result in arrest, but the genocidal chant “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” would not automatically lead to arrest, despite the urging of Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
The Metropolitan Police faced scrutiny this week after reportedly forcing activists from the Campaign Against Antisemitism group to turn off electronic billboards displaying children believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas. The police allegedly threatened the activists with arrest for breaching the peace and ordered them to leave the city center.