‘Dark times’ in Haringey as antisemitic hate crime rises by 750% in one month

There have been a number of high-profile cases of hate crimes in the borough since October, including reports of incidents which have taken place at schools, reports Miriam Balanescu

Tottenham Police Station

Haringey MPs have responded to data which shows a “deeply concerning” rise in hate crime in Haringey – including a 750% rise in antisemitism.

Metropolitan Police data reveals that 192 hate crimes were reported from September to October 2023 in the borough, and between September and October there was a 20.7% increase in hate crime.

Reports of antisemitism increased by 61.8% on last year (October 2022 to October 2023), and 750% from September to October this year. Reports of Islamophobia increased by 41.4% from October 2022 to October 2023.

Meanwhile, overall reports of hate crime increased by 4.9% from October 2022 to October 2023.

Since Hamas’ attacks on Israel on 7th October, there have been a number of high-profile cases of hate crime in the borough, including the vandalism of Beis Chinuch Lebonos Girls’ School in Finsbury Park. A CCTV clip circulating on social media apparently showed a person in a balaclava targeting one of two schools with red paint, the other being in Stoke Newington. No arrests have yet been made.

Another alleged hate crime took place at Highgate private school Channing School for Girls. Last month, graffiti was discovered inside toilets on the school premises which allegedly read “kill Jews”, alongside a swastika. An internal investigation is currently being conducted at the school.

In another incident being treated as a potential hate crime, a 20-year-old orthodox Jewish woman was assaulted by two people, who also stole her handbag. Two teen girls have been arrested and bailed, pending further enquiries.

Leader of Haringey Council, Peray Ahmet, commented: “Regardless of the motive, this was a sickening attack and will doubtless impact our Jewish residents, many of whom are already feeling vulnerable in the face of rising antisemitism in the UK since the outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza.”

A man was also arrested last month on suspicion of racially abusing a Jewish woman in her 30s and setting fire to her car earlier the same month.

Tottenham MP David Lammy commented: “The increase in reports of hate crime in Haringey is deeply concerning and reflects a worrying trend in the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia across the country. “No-one in this country should ever be persecuted because of who they are. We need a zero-tolerance approach to hateful rhetoric that devastates lives.

“This is why Labour has pledged to strengthen hate crime laws to tackle and monitor antisemitism and Islamophobia.”

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West added: “I’m extremely concerned to see such a rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia community has a rich, proud history of standing up against those who seek to divide, and in these dark times we must unite again to say there is no place for hate crime in Haringey.

“Nobody on our streets should feel over recent weeks. Our diverse community has a rich, proud history of standing up against those who seek to divide, and in these dark times we must unite again to say there is no place for hate crime in Haringey.

“Nobody on our streets should feel vulnerable because of their faith or because of events in the Middle East. There must be zero tolerance for hate and I will continue to work with Haringey police to make sure our community feels safe and welcoming for all and with our multi-faith forum to support their important work promoting dialogue and bringing people together.”

A spokesperson for the Met said: “We have seen a very concerning rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crime. This is absolutely unacceptable, and we are taking action. We will be relentless in targeting those who commit hate crimes and threaten our communities.

“We have moved additional officers into our hate crime investigations – to ensure we are progressing investigations and bringing offenders to justice as quickly as possible.

“Anyone who sees an incident of concern, experiences threatening behaviour – including those online, or is worried about their safety in any way, is urged to contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

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