Jewish man wearing a Kippa

Antisemitic hate crimes in Greater Manchester were nine times higher in October 2023

Antisemitic hate crimes in Greater Manchester were more than nine times higher in October than in September 2023, data from GMP reveals.

In October, 83 incidents of antisemitism were reported in the region compared to just eight in September, an increase of 937.5%

Jewish people account for just 1.2% of the population of Greater Manchester according to the Office for National Statistics, but in October, hate crimes against Jewish people accounted for 58.9% of all religiously motivated hate crimes. 

The picture in Manchester aligns with a trend across the UK in which October and November 2023 saw soaring rates of antisemitism, such as in London where hate crimes against Jewish people were up 1,350%.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity working to track and eradicate antisemitism, previously reported that they documented their highest 28-day total in October since their records began in 1984, with over 1000 incidents taking place.

The increase has been linked to the outbreak of the Israel and Hamas war, which began on October 7th when 1200 people were killed in Israel and 240 taken hostage by Hamas, triggering Israeli bombing across the Gaza Strip. Recent estimates suggest that 22,185 Palestinians have been killed and 57,000 injured in the continuing violence in the region. 

Dave Rich, the director of policy at the CST, said: “This appalling rise in antisemitic hate crimes in Greater Manchester ought to be shocking for everybody, but it is sadly no surprise. Harassment, abuse and attacks on Jewish people always increases when Israel is at war, and there is never any excuse for it.

“It is vital that as many of these hate crime reports as possible result in arrests and prosecutions, but this is also a challenge across society, because this scale of hatred and division harms everyone.”

In Greater Manchester, Bury recorded the highest number of incidents in Greater Manchester with 36, followed by City of Manchester Central and Salford which both had 31.

Demographically, the boroughs of Bury and Salford have the largest Jewish population, with 5.5% of Bury identifying as Jewish according to the 2021 Census date and 3.8% of Salford.

A spokesperson from the national Campaign against Antisemitism said: “Antisemitism in Greater Manchester is up by over 900%. The tangible effect of this is worse than ever, with almost seven in ten British Jews hiding their Jewish identity and almost half of the community considering leaving the country due to antisemitism. 

“Britain is at an inflection point. If the authorities believe that our streets and our country should be safe for all Britons – including British Jews – they must act against hate before it’s too late.”

Hate crimes in Greater Manchester have slowly been on the rise since 2010. Manchester has experienced two spikes since records began, with one in June 2017 and another in July 2021, where the number of  hate crime incidents 1,114 and 1,455.

The rapid increase in 2017 has largely been linked to the Manchester Arena bombing, where the number of religious hate crime incidents went from eight in April to 341 in May – with Greater Manchester Police revealing a uptake in Islamophobic abuse accounted for this.

In Greater Manchester, race accounts for the most incidents of hate crime across time, with 66.6% of all hate crime incidents being on the basis of race. It was followed by sexual orientation at 14.6%, disability at 9.4% and Religion and belief accounted for 9.2%.

On the increase of antisemitism in October and November, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor Kate Green said previously: “We know there are heightened concerns in our Jewish community and have spoken to the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police who has assured us that there will continue to be an increased Police presence in all areas of our city-region with Jewish community organisations.

“We are determined that all our communities in Greater Manchester will be kept safe.”

Featured Image: michael_swan @Flickr

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