Jewish communities across Greater Manchester will receive better protection and more police patrols during an upcoming series of religious holidays.
The work by GMP will be done alongside Community Security Trust (CST) to curb anti-Semitism during the Jewish High Holidays.
The High Holidays begin on Wednesday with the Eve of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).
They also include Yom Kippur (‘Day of Atonement’), before ending on October 17 with the festival of Simchat Torah (‘Rejoicing with the Torah’).
Chief Inspector Amber Waywell of Greater Manchester Police’s Bury Division said: “The High Holy Days are a combination of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar.
“We are working closely with the CST again this year and putting extra patrols in place to make sure people feel safe, and have easy access to police officers and reporting centres.”
Mobile police will enable people to report anti-Semitic incidents at Northumberland Street in Broughton Park, Bury Old Road in Prestwich, Shay Lane in Hale, and the gatehouse of Sedgley Park Police Training College in Prestwich.
Police will also patrol areas surrounding synagogues before and after services.
Chief Inspector Waywell added: “We received really positive feedback from the Jewish community last year, and are planning to deliver another quality service throughout this year’s festive period.”
The operation is a response to figures compiled by the CST showing a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Greater Manchester.
There were 52 anti-Semitic attacks which were recorded across the region in July 2014 – coinciding with the escalation of the Gaza conflict – compared to the monthly average of 16 for the first half of the year.
Anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas were daubed over gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Rochdale in June.
And there was an attack on members of the Jewish community as car loads of pro-Palestine protesters drove through Broughton Park shouting fascist slogans and hurling missiles in July.
CST’s Northern Regional Director Amanda Bomsztyk said: “The increased presence of police officers and CST volunteers offers invaluable reassurance and is integral to Jewish people being able to celebrate the New Year and other festivals.
“The year-round support from GMP is greatly appreciated by CST and the community, and enables the Jewish community here in Manchester to enjoy full and active Jewish lives.”
Image courtesy of Gary Knight, with thanks