Manchester worst for anti-Semitism
More anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Manchester than in London last year, despite the capital being home to almost seven times as many Jews, a Jewish security charity has said.
The total of 586 street attacks, threats, vandalism and desecration of Jewish property in Britain was the fourth highest annual figure since records began in 1984, the Community Security Trust (CST) said.
Some 244 of these were in Manchester, more than the capital (201 incidents) for the first time, despite London's Jewish population standing at 149,800 compared with Manchester's 21,700, the researchers said.
These included one incident of "extreme violence" as a Jewish family were filling up their car at a petrol station. "As one of the family members crossed the forecourt in order to make payment, a car containing two white women reversed sharply into her, knocking her to the ground," the CST report said.
"The occupants then got out of their car, shouted 'dirty Jew' and spat at the injured woman lying on the ground, before getting back into the car and driving away."
The rise "continues the pattern whereby a higher proportion of the anti-Semitic incidents reported to CST occur in Greater Manchester than should be the case, given the relative sizes of the Jewish communities in Manchester and in London", the CST added.
But it said this was mainly the result of improved reporting of incidents by Manchester's Jewish community to CST and to Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Police also said the rise in Manchester was due to "major efforts" to ensure all incidents were recorded.
Among the incidents across the UK in 2011 were 92 assaults, including one instance of "extreme violence", 63 incidents of vandalism, 394 reports of abuse and 29 direct threats.
Chief Superintendent Jon Rush, divisional commander for Bury, said: "What we must acknowledge is that the number of anti-Semitic assaults is far too high. People in our Jewish communities should be able to safely and freely go about their business without fear of being attacked, so this is the area we accept we need to tackle.
"Any incident motivated by religious or racial hatred is abhorrent and can cause people a great deal of upset. We do not want people to suffer in silence and think they should not speak out when they are subjected to any form of abuse - we want them to tell us so we can bring the offenders to justice."