THERESA MAY

MY WAR ON HATE

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - THERESA MAY

BRI­TAIN HAS a proud record of tol­er­ance and ac­cep­tance. But even in a coun­try such as ours, we must be on guard against ha­tred and big­otry and any sign of a resur­gence of an­ti­semitism.

Re­cent re­ports from the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust, which have in­di­cated a rise in an­ti­semitic in­ci­dents across the United King­dom, are deeply wor­ry­ing. Ac­counts of Jewish peo­ple be­ing ver­bally abused on the street, plac­ards dis­play­ing loath­some threats, and bricks be­ing thrown through sy­n­a­gogue win­dows are — like any form of hate crime — ab­hor­rent and un­ac­cept­able.

When this news­pa­per con­ducted a straw poll of Jewish peo­ple in north Lon­don ear­lier this month, I was sad­dened to read that 63 per cent ques­tioned their future in the UK amid a rise in an­ti­semitic in­ci­dents.

I am clear that ev­ery­one in this coun­try should be able to live their lives free from racial and re­li­gious ha­tred and ha­rass­ment. No one should live in fear be­cause of their be­liefs or who they are.

Since we pub­lished our hate crime ac­tion plan in 2012, the gov­ern­ment has made sig­nif­i­cant progress. That cross-gov­ern­ment plan iden­ti­fied three core ob­jec­tives: to pre­vent hate crime, to in­crease re­port­ing, and to im­prove the op­er­a­tional re­sponse.

We have pro­vided over £2.3 mil­lion of fund­ing to or­gan­i­sa­tions to help achieve those ob­jec­tives. This in­cludes sup­port for Jewish state schools and vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Anne Frank Trust, who work with more than 60,000 young peo­ple ev­ery year, help­ing them to chal­lenge dis­crim­i­na­tory behaviour.

We have also es­tab­lished a work­ing group to tackle an­ti­semitism, which brings to­gether com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ex­perts from across gov­ern­ment to help ex­plore is­sues af­fect­ing Jewish com­mu­ni­ties.

When un­ac­cept­able in­ci­dents oc­cur, I want to en­sure that they are re­ported. So we are work­ing closely with the po­lice and crim­i­nal jus­tice agen­cies to en­cour­age vic­tims to re­port them, for in­stance through third-party ser­vices and the True Vi­sion web­site. We have also im­proved the ev­i­dence base so we can un­der­stand the true scale of hate

There is no place in our coun­try for anti-Jewish ha­tred

crime. Po­lice forces have been for­mally col­lect­ing this data since 2011 and, last De­cem­ber, we pub­lished an over­view of hate crime in Eng­land and Wales.

The UK has one of the strong­est leg­isla­tive frame­works in the world to pro­tect com­mu­ni­ties from hos­til­ity, vi­o­lence and big­otry. The num­ber of peo­ple re­ceiv­ing a cus­to­dial sen­tence for racially or re­li­giously ag­gra­vated crimes is higher than ever be­fore, and th­ese crim­i­nals are spend­ing more time in prison. New po­lice guid­ance, pub­lished in May, will en­sure that po­lice forces un­der­stand lo­cal ten­sions and work with af­fected com­mu­ni­ties to keep peo­ple safe from harm.

The gov­ern­ment makes no apolo­gies for re­fus­ing peo­ple ac­cess to the UK who seek to sub­vert our shared val­ues. That is why in Fe­bru­ary this year I ex­cluded Dieudonné M’bala M’bala from en­ter­ing the UK. He has made an­ti­semitic com­ments which have no place in our coun­try.

But big­otry and ha­tred still oc­cur far too of­ten in the UK to­day. The Crime Sur­vey for Eng­land and Wales in­di­cates that on av­er­age there are 278,000 in­ci­dents of hate crime each year with 154,000 cases be­ing racially mo­ti­vated and 70,000 re­lat­ing to reli­gion. I know that when hate crimes oc­cur, they can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for vic-

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