Theresa May giving her speech at the Anne Frank Trust lunch (Photo credit: Mydas Photography)

Theresa May said the “the trend for hate crime is worrying” during an event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, writes  Jack Mendel.

Speaking at the Anne Frank Trust’s annual lunch, the Home Secretary praised the organisation for working in schools and communities “raising awareness of prejudice and extremism of all kinds.”

“Sadly today this work could not be more pertinent or pressing”, she added. 

“Since becoming Home Secretary, I’m pleased that crime has fallen by more than a quarter according to the ind crime survey for England and Wales.  But, within that, the trend for hate crime, is worrying.”

She said there had been an 18% increase in hate crime in 2014/15. 

May added: “We’ve seen an increase in anti-Semitic attacks, the like of which I thought we would never see again in Europe. 

In first half of 2015 the CST recorded 473 anti-Semitic incidents, a 53% increase on the same period the previous year.

In a poll, carried out to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, 27% of those questioned had seen a form of hate crime, with a fifth witnessing abuse based on religion and 25% based on race or ethnicity.

Of the 2,007 people asked, 440 said they had witnessed hate crime and regretted not challenging it. 

Following the announcement of a new national memorial to the Holocaust besides Westminster, she added “It will stand as a reminder of the past and in the coming months.”

May, who has been the longest serving Home Secretary for over 100 years, also spoke about assisting Syrian refugees, citing “Britain’s proud history of helping those in need.”

Also attending the event at the Hilton on Park Lane was Sir Eric Pickles MP, Special Envoy for post-Holocast Issues, and Minister for Countering Extremism, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon. 

In an interview with Pickles for the event, he said: “Anti-Semitism is growing. Islamophobia is growing” and if the two communities “were to disappear from the UK, then we would become a lesser country for it.’

“Those who seek to divide jus win if we start seeing our own citizens as a fifth column.”

Also attending the event, was Holocaust survivor Eva Behar, Ahmad Nawaz, a relative of the Peshawar school massacre in 2014, and numerous Anne Frank Ambassadors.