Fall in anti-Semitic incidents in Redbridge amid all-time UK high

Rabbi David Hulbert lights a menorah and sings his blessings to the audience at the multi-faith dinn

Rabbi David Hulbert lights a menorah and sings his blessings to the audience at the multi-faith dinner in Ilford on January 18 last year. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar - Credit: Archant

Amid a rising tide of anti-Semitism in many parts of the country, hate incidents in Redbridge have fallen by nearly half in the last year.

Malicious acts against Jewish people, organisations and property fell from 41 in 2016 to 23 in 2017, according to a report released by charity Community Security Trust (CST) on February 1.

But this is still an increase on 2015 levels, where 15 incidents took place.

Of the 1,392 anti-Semitic incidents recorded last year - the highest number ever recorded by the charity - 56pc took place in Greater London.

Redbridge ranks seventh among London boroughs; behind Barnet, with 282 incidents; Hackney, Westminster, Camden, Haringey and Harrow.

The CST report tallies the number of incidents where there is evidence “act has anti-Semitic motivation or content, or that the victim was targeted because they are (or are believed to be) Jewish.”

Broadly speaking ideologically motivated incidents, as opposed to random acts of abuse against individuals, are more concentrated in Greater London and come normally in the form of hate mail, abusive phone calls or anti-Semitic graffiti.

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“It chimes in with my personal experience experience that generally there are very good interfaith relations in the borough of Redbridge,” said Rabbi David Hulbert of Bet Tikvah Synagogue, commenting on the results.

“But with the figures going up and down at those relatively low levels you can’t really come to any long term conclusions,” he added.

Redbridge councillors unanimously voted to adopt an internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism following a unanimous vote at a full council meeting on January 18.

The motion was put forward the motion by Cllr Alan Weinberg.

Reacting to the report, Cllr Weinberg said: “Obviously 23 incidents is 23 too many. But we have got to get this in context.

“The fact that this is going down is something to be welcomed.

“A lot of people here are putting a lot of effort into fostering good relations and if this is the result of that, it should be applauded.”

In 1970, the Jewish community in Redbridge was fast growing with a population of 30,000.

Census data reveals that the size of the Redbridge’s Jewish population has reduced by more than 30pc between 2001 and 2011, to 10,213.

In terms of hate crime more widely, 2,813 offences were recorded in total in Redbridge between November 2016 and November 2017, according to Met Police data.

Read Community Security Trusts report in full here: https://cst.org.uk/public/data/file/a/b/IR17.pdf