Written evidence submitted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council



I am the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for policing issues relating to the Jewish community in the England Wales and Northern Ireland. I was appointed to this role in the wake of the upsurge in antisemitic hate crime that we sadly witnessed during the Summer of 2014.


I understand that you are carrying out an inquiry into antisemitism and I wanted to offer the following information about the police response to this unacceptable crime. I have prepared this response with the support of Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, who is the National Police Lead for Hate Crime.





We believe that the UK has one of the most robust legislative and policy responses to hate crime globally and has developed probably, the most comprehensive data collection of any state. Much of our action builds on the response to the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence and the report of the public inquiry which reported in 1999. Successive Governments have committed to providing transparent data about hate crime and we regularly publish criminal justice data and information from the Crime Survey of England and Wales. The police supplement the national data by providing data about the number of hate crimes that are antisemitic.


In the year ending March, 2015 the police in England and Wales recorded 52,528 hate crimes which included;


42,930 race crimes

5,597 sexual orientation

3,254 religion

2,508 disability

605 transgender


(These add to more than the total as some recorded multiple hostilities.)


The Crime Survey of England and Wales suggests that in the same period there was 222,000 hate crimes which means that our commitment to closing this gap is still important.


2014/15 was a promising year in this respect as we observed a 18% increase in reported crime at the same time as a similar decrease in the Crime Survey’s estimate of ‘experienced’ hate crime. The Survey also provides evidence that hate crime has a greater emotional impact on victims than non-targeted crime but also, sadly, that victims are less likely to be satisfied with the police response, despite our prioritisation.



Antisemitic Hate Crime


Our data for antisemitism is published annually on True Vision our hate crime web facility. (http://www.report-it.org.uk/files/hate_crime_data_npcc_2014-15.pdf) the last published data, for 2014/15, showed that we recorded 629 antisemitic hate crimes in England Wales and Northern Ireland. This was a significant rise on the previous year when we recorded 318. We have recorded and published this data since 2009.





Total recorded antisemitic crimes

Percentage change





















One of our recent developments in hate crime recording is that the NPCC has signed national Information Sharing Agreements with three key trusted partners, including the Community Security Trust (CST), who assist victims to report antisemitic hate crime. This allows us to share anonymous information and get a fuller picture of the extent of hate crime. Our National Community Tension Team also provides us with the ability to swiftly recognise rises in tension or to predict local, national or international events that are likely to require targeted policing responses.


In the past we have detected rises in recorded crime around the time of significant international events such as international conflict, terrorist activity and other high profile crimes. This indicates that those who have a propensity to violent hostility are more likely to act in retribution in the period after such events. However, I also believe that there are other factors that impact on reporting such as the raised fears and alertness in targeted communities and the enhanced exposure in the media of hate crime services such as our own online reporting facility, True Vision (www.report-it.org.uk)


Whilst each critical incident, and the community context at the time, means there is some variation, we tend to detect a significant ‘spike’ in recording in the days following the incident and then a gradual drop-off in the following days and weeks often returning to ‘normal’ levels relatively quickly.


The above data clearly demonstrates the link between conflict involving Israel and the rise in recorded hate crime. It is clear evidence that there are people in our country who will use hostile and even violent offending motivated by their objection to state or other activity. As with almost all hate crime the perpetrator targets victims who have no connection to the activity that the perpetrator opposes. The chart shows a clear correlation between the conflicts in Gaza in 2008/9 and 2014 which saw significantly more offences recorded.


There are other factors to consider when examining this data, notably;


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         that many hate crimes do not get reported to the police and others are recorded but the hostility element is not noted and it is therefore recorded as a ‘normal’ crime.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         that conflict and critical incidents also raises the fear of crime and the perceived threat levels increase the proactive responses from the police and partners. Any of these factors may positively influence victims to report crime.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         It is difficult to make comparisons between the risk of hate crime targeting different communities, even when there is accurate census data. We believe that factors such the effectiveness of the CST in building confidence in the community and our data sharing agreements mean that the gap between recorded and experienced antisemitic crime is likely to be less than for other victim groups.


The latter point is notable as the CST and ourselves have noted signs that the increase in recording that we saw around the 2014 Gaza conflict did not reduce in the way we observed after the 2008/9 conflict when we saw 4 years of decrease and we expect the 2015/16 data to be significantly higher than the levels we had recorded before the 2014 conflict.


In our regular exchanges of data with the CST we noted a rise in antisemitic crime after the terrorist attack on the Jewish Supermarket, in Paris on 9th January, 2015. This would appear counterintuitive, as the only Jewish role in the incident was as victims. We met with colleagues from the CST to examine this rise and shared a belief that it was most likely to be a result of increased alertness and fear in the Jewish community and proactive engagement from police and partners, rather than being indicative of any significant increase in offending behaviour.



Building Community Partnerships


We have strong working relationships with many Jewish community groups, which we find invaluable in our work and part of my role is to maximise the value of these. At a national level we sit on the DCLG hosted Antisemitism Working Group and also on the Cross Government Hate Crime Programme which are invaluable and allow us to better understand the needs of the community. Perhaps the most important relationship is with the CST who are close allies in our efforts to protect communities from antisemitism.


One key development in our relationship with the CST is the national ‘Information Sharing Agreements which were signed off in May 2015 and are posted on the True Vision website at http://www.report-it.org.uk/information_sharing_agreements. The agreement, which was mirrored for Tell MAMA, who support Muslim victims, allow for local relationships to be built with individual forces which supplement national arrangements. They allow for ad-hoc exchanges as well as the national meetings that share information every 6 months.

We carried out a review of the arrangements, in 2016 and all parties recognised their value. We have updated them and have made efforts to agree similar arrangements with other suitable national groups such as the recent agreement with GALOP who support Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender victims of hate crime.


One example of the effectiveness of these partnership came when my own force, Greater Manchester Police, worked closely with the CST in response to a violent attack on a Jewish boy in Bowker Vale in September 2015. We agreed a community engagement strategy and used CST experts to provide briefings to key personnel. This partnership was invaluable, not only in reassuring the local community, but also to counter some of the sensationalist public statements made by organisations and individuals who were often not informed of the complete, and often sensitive information and intelligence available to the partners.


Another example was in Merseyside, where the Countering Extremism Unit has a strong relationship with community groups including both Tell MAMA and the CST and these partners have been involved in the planning and preparations for a number of ‘White Man Marches’ which took place in the Merseyside area.


One police leader from West Yorkshire Police gave me an indication to his recognition of the value placed in these partnerships;


“We have a great operational relationship with the CST. Not only do we debrief previous operational events and incidents at our quarterly meetings, but also look ahead to events in the calendar.


In between the formal meetings there is a much more localised [Neighbourhood Policing Team] link with the CST regarding day to day lower-level events and the ‘policing footprint’ agreed with the CST. When appropriate, the CST are jointly involved in police briefings.”



Responding to Antisemitism


Through the College of Policing we have issued extensive hate crime guidance to colleagues and this includes a specific section on the particular challenges when the hate crime is antisemitic. The overarching strategy is available at http://www.report-it.org.uk/files/national_policing_hate_crime_strategy.pdf and the Operational Guidance is at http://www.report-it.org.uk/files/hate_crime_operational_guidance.pdf. The specific antisemitism advice starts at page 35 of this document.


My colleague, ACC Mark Hamilton, has commissioned a full ‘Learning Needs Analysis’ from the College of Policing which is examining the development needs for police roles. As part of the development for this and in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service we held a two-day ‘Masterclass’ training for the force policy lead and the area Lead Prosecutor. This training included input from the CST and included a table-top exercise based on responding to antisemitic crime during a legal protest.



Practical Responses to Antisemitism


One example of a positive response to antisemitism surrounding a planned march in July 2015 which was intended to take place in Golders Green, London, the home to many UK/Jewish citizens.


The planned event aimed to bring together ‘far-right’ supporters to march through Golders Green protesting at the ‘Jewification’ of the area. It led to the prosecution for ‘stirring-up racial hatred’ by one of the organisers of the planned protest. The police worked with the community and partners at a national and local level to reduce the fear of crime and the potential for community disorder, whilst allowing legal protest.


Given these concerns in the community about the planned march we wanted to maximise our messages, to ensure the community that we were actively working to protect them from the antisemitic crime that they feared would accompany the protest.


In the weeks before the planned march, a complaint was made by the CST about the below material. It appeared online and was apparently linked to one of the event organisers, the perpetrator was arrested the same day and remanded in custody pending trial and eventual imprisonment for more than 3 years having been convicted of stirring up racial hatred.











The Metropolitan Police Service led on community engagement activity and, alongside key partners such as the CST, they carried out extensive local community reassurance activity.


Whilst I believe the local response was strong, we recognised that the event was raising concerns nationally and even internationally. We were concerned that the lack of journalists in court and the ‘sub-judice’ issues meant that the coverage of the remand hearing was not as extensive as we would have wished, so we supplemented the local activity by highlighting the pending prosecution.


The below summary document highlights the social media advert that targets Jewish residents of the UK. It shows the advert reached 76,122 people, which equates to around a quarter of the Jewish population, with 877 people interacting with the article, by either liking, sharing or commenting on it. We use this cost effective method extensively as it enables us to reach specific target groups for relatively small cost (£130 in this instance)



















In addition to our close working relationship with the CST, the police will also work with other organisations who are working to protect Jewish communities some such as the Campaign against Antisemitism concentrate on the abuse of the Jewish community t others,  such as Stop Hate UK work to support all victims of hate crime. Our cooperation can be in respect of a single enquiry or general hostile behaviour.



True Vision (report-it.org.uk)


One of the key outputs of our response to hate crime is True Vision and in particular the web facilities which are a key part of our response. It is intended to;


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         provide information to victims, advocates and professionals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         facilitate online reporting of hate crime, including anonymously

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         build confidence in affected communities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         provide a library of resources for local use


The web-site home page receives around 16,000 visits per month and visitors view 6-8 pages per visit.

Since it went live, in 2011, the site has;


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         had over 730,000 total visits to home page (not total site visits but homepage only)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         received 4,764 incident/crime reports from members of the public and NGO’s, in the last full year of data (2015/16)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         had 24,200 visitors access the educational support material developed in a partnership led by the Crown Prosecution Service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         been used to send social media messages to the pages of up to 800,000 people (per advert) and targeted specific groups defined by characteristic, interests, geography, age etc.


We will continue to develop True Vision and, during 2016 we will refresh the site, providing specific culturally-appropriate ‘landing pages’ for groups who may be better served by the site. Such groups include young people, internet users, transgender victims and Gypsy Traveller and Roma communities.


Through True Vision, we have funded the continuation of the ‘No Hate Speech UK’ initiative which is equipping, training and supporting, predominantly young people, to challenge online hate, support victims and to report damaging or illegal material to hosts or authorities as appropriate. We think there is much scope to increase this effort and to maximise the impact it has.


We are planning a counter-narrative ‘master class’ in late 2016 which will bring together Internet industry groups, practitioners and academic experts from around the world, to share learning and to develop a ‘toolkit’ to inform new groups of how to effectively counter hate speech whilst staying safe and respecting the right to free speech.


I hope this information is helpful to you and your parliamentary colleagues and I would be happy to provide any further information that may be helpful.





Garry Shewan

Assistant Chief Constable

Greater Manchester Police


National Lead for Police engagement with the Jewish Community