For the first time ever since reporting began, there were more anti-Semitic incidents in Greater Manchester than in Greater London in 2011, even though the Jewish population of the capital is seven times the size of Manchester’s.
This is one of the findings which has been grabbing the media headlines from the Community Security Trust (CST)’s Antisemitic Incidents Report, 2011, published on 2 February 2012 and available at:
CST, which has been recording anti-Semitic incidents in the UK since 1984, logged 586 of them in 2011, 9% fewer than in 2010 and 37% less than in 2009, when there was a spike in anti-Semitism as a result of Israel’s military operations in Gaza. The fall is attributed by CST to the absence of similar ‘trigger events’ in 2011.
The figures exclude potential incidents reported to and investigated by CST but not ultimately classified by it as anti-Semitic (in terms of motivation, targeting or content), although some were anti-Israel. There were 437 of these in 2011, bringing the total of reported incidents to 1,023.
201 of the 586 anti-Semitic incidents (34%) took place in Greater London, a decrease of 9% from 2010, and 244 (42%) in Greater Manchester, 13% more than the year before. There were 141 incidents (24%) in the rest of the UK.
According to CST, the Manchester peak was ‘mainly the result of improved reporting of incidents by Manchester’s Jewish community to CST and to Greater Manchester Police, and a close working relationship between CST and GMP’.
Incidents were categorized by type as follows: extreme violence (one incident), assault (16%), damage and desecration to Jewish property (11%), threats (5%), abusive behaviour (67%), and mass-produced literature (1%).
Victims of incidents were: high-profile public figures (3%), random Jewish individuals in public (37%), people in private homes (12%), schools and schoolchildren (12%), synagogues and congregants (18%), students and academics (6%), Jewish organizations and communal events (11%), and Jewish cemeteries (1%).
Where information was available, 85% of perpetrators were found to be male and 5% mixed gender groups. 61% were white and 39% black, Asian or Arab. 63% were described as adults and 36% as minors (but the latter accounted for two-thirds of anti-Semitic assaults).