Hate crimes targeting Jewish people recorded by police more than doubled in a year across England and Wales, official figures show.
Data published on Tuesday found that nearly half of religious hate crimes (47 percent) were against Muslim people, with 3,530 offences in 2018/2019, compared with 2,965 the previous year.
Hate crimes against Jewish people more than doubled, with the community targeted in 18 per cent of religious hate crimes. Police recorded 1,326 such offences in 2018/2019, compared with 672 in the previous year.
Police in England and Wales recorded 103,379 hate crimes overall in 2018/2019. This is 10 percent higher than the previous year, and the number has more than doubled since the 2012/13 figure.
Over half of hate crimes were public order offences, while a third (36 percent) involved violence and another 5 percent were criminal damage or arson.
The figures also found a large increase in offences against people based on sexual orientation (25 percent) and transgender identity (37 percent). Disability hate crimes increased by 14 percent to 8,256, the data showed.
The increase could be due to improvements in how crimes are recorded but there were spikes after events such as the EU referendum and terrorist attacks in 2017, the Home Office said.
Citizens UK, which published a separate survey on hate crime, said levels of hate crime across the UK could be “far higher” than offcial figures suggest.
The group released a joint statement by 18 faith leaders and charity bosses expressing “deep concern at the rising tide of fear and division in society and the erosion of trust in public institutions.”
Rabbi Robyn Ashworth Steen, of Jackon’s Row Synagogue in Manchester said: “Too many people feel that there’s no support and that’s why I’m involved in this work and supporting calls for better laws.”
Matthew Bolton, the executive director of Citizens UK, said: “Communities from across the UK are increasingly concerned that we aren’t going fast enough or far enough to strengthen hate crime protections.
“Political, media and institutional decision-makers need an action plan to stop the toxic mix of scare stories on social media and a divisive political environment, which is providing a breeding ground for hate.”
A government spokesperson said: “Any incident of hate crime is completely unacceptable. No one should be targeted because a hateful minority cannot tolerate the differences that make our country great.
“We are encouraged that more people are willing to report hate crime and that police continue to improve their response to victims.
“Partners across the criminal justice system, government and in the community are working hard to empower those affected and ensure perpetrators are punished.”
The Community Security Trust’s annual report, published in February, found antisemitic incidents rose by 16 percent to 1,652 in 2018 from 1,420 the previous year.