Home Office written question – answered on 28th November 2014.

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Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Conservative, Aberconwy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of changes in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK Government takes all forms of hate crime very seriously. We deplore all religious and racially-motivated attacks. Between 2012-13 and 2013-14 police-recorded race hate crime increased by 4% (an increase of 1,595 offences) and religious hate crime by 45% (an increase of 700 offences) in England and Wales. The increase in recorded hate crime shows that more victims are coming forward and that the police are improving the way they identify hate crimes, and we welcome this.

The Community Security Trust monitors levels of antisemitism. Their most recent report, published at the end of July covering the period of January to June 2014, highlighted that there had been a 36% increase in the number of antisemitic incidents recorded compared to the same period in 2013 (307 incidents in 2014, compared to 223 in 2013). Following this, they recorded 314 antisemitic incidents in July, and 229 in August, making the combined total for those two months higher than the total for the whole of 2013.

When these events occur it is vital that the police take action to engage effectively with communities. Police forces in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have recently been issued with new guidance for dealing with hate crimes, which includes advice on dealing with incidents and how to monitor and deal with community tensions.

We have also established a working group to tackle antisemitism which brings together community representatives and experts from across government to help explore issues affecting these communities.

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