Rise in recorded antisemitic hate crimes in the West Midlands following Hamas-Israel conflict

Police in the West Midlands recorded a rise in antisemitic hate crimes in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict last year, new figures show.
Undated file photo of graffiti on a wall in Bristol. The number of antisemitic hate crimes recorded by many of the UK's largest police forces jumped sharply in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict, new figures reveal. Islamophobic offences also rose for some forces, although the picture was more mixed across the country. Issue date: Friday December 29, 2023.Undated file photo of graffiti on a wall in Bristol. The number of antisemitic hate crimes recorded by many of the UK's largest police forces jumped sharply in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict, new figures reveal. Islamophobic offences also rose for some forces, although the picture was more mixed across the country. Issue date: Friday December 29, 2023.
Undated file photo of graffiti on a wall in Bristol. The number of antisemitic hate crimes recorded by many of the UK's largest police forces jumped sharply in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict, new figures reveal. Islamophobic offences also rose for some forces, although the picture was more mixed across the country. Issue date: Friday December 29, 2023.

Police in the West Midlands recorded a rise in antisemitic hate crimes in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict last year, new figures show.

The number of antisemitic hate crimes recorded by many of the UK’s largest police forces jumped sharply in the same time period.

Jewish charities called the findings "shocking" and called on perpetrators to be identified and prosecuted.

Figures obtained by the PA news agency from Freedom of Information requests sent to all forces in the UK show 22 antisemitic hate crimes were recorded by West Midlands Police between October 7 and November 7.

This was up from one in the same time period the year before.

Meanwhile, 25 Islamophobic hate crimes were recorded by police in the West Midlands in the month following Hamas' attack – down from 33 the year before.

The Community Security Trust said the figures made clear "the extent of the unacceptable rise in anti-Jewish hatred across the country since the Hamas terror attack on October 7".

A spokesman for the Jewish charity said: "This wave of antisemitism was triggered by the mass murder, rape and kidnapping of Jews in Israel, and is fuelled and sustained by extremist hatred online and on our streets.

"It is essential that perpetrators are identified and prosecuted, and that wider society shows its disgust for this racist hate crime."

The Metropolitan Police, the largest force in the UK, said delays prevented it from supplying full figures until the new year, but it had previously reported 218 antisemitic hate crimes between October 1 and 18 this year, compared with 15 in the same period in 2022.

Methods for recording hate crime are not consistent across forces, so the data cannot be used to compare the number of offences between different areas or provide an overall total for the whole of the UK.

But the figures do point to a jump in antisemitic offences recorded by forces concentrated mostly in cities or across built-up areas.

Tell Mama, which monitors and works to tackle anti-Muslim sentiment and abuse in the UK, said "levels of anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination are deeply worrying, impacting trust in authorities and their sense of identity and belonging".

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "There is no place for hate in our society and we condemn the recent rise in reported antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

"We expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the CPS to make sure the cowards who commit these abhorrent offences feel the full force of the law.

"Following recent events, we have also made further funding available to Jewish and Muslim communities, to provide additional security at places of worship and faith schools."