Justice secretary Chris Grayling condemns anti-Semitic attacks on Barkingside visit
PUBLISHED: 18:16 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:49 18 February 2015
A senior government minister has called on the borough's faith communities to mix more to stop anti-Semitism.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling condemned the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Redbridge and called on people of different faiths to have more “shared experiences” together to fight hate crime.
The Conservative minister made the comments while meeting Barkingside businesses with Ilford North MP Lee Scott in the lead-up to May’s general election.
Mr Grayling spoke while visiting Fairlop Pharmacy and Quidsaver in High Street, Barkingside, with Redbridge Mayor Cllr Ashley Kissin and former council leader Cllr Keith Prince on Friday.
He said: “Hate crime of any kind is unacceptable. We have seen rises in the country and it’s absolutely unacceptable – every Jewish person has the right to live freely.”
The comments come in light of new figures showing attacks in Redbridge more than trebled last year.
The statistics from the Community Security Trust (CST) – an anti-Semitism charity – show incidents went up from nine in 2013 to 34 in 2014.
Mr Grayling said: “This problem is not just specific to the Jewish community, it affects the Muslim community too, it’s about hate crime on all levels.”
He added: “We have to make sure we prosecute people when it happens and we must make sure communities live in harmony and share experiences and understanding.”
He supported schools taking extra precautions, with King Solomon High School in Forest Road, Barkingside, stepping up its security measures.
Mr Grayling said: “I think any school taking any step to protect students in classrooms will certainly find tolerance in the children. They’ve all grown up with each other, despite coming from different backgrounds.”