THE NUMBER of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes in Gwent jumped after the start of the conflict in Gaza.

In the month following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, Gwent Police recorded five anti-Semitic and three Islamophobic offences, up from two and one in the same period last year.

The figures, obtained in Freedom of Information requests by the PA news agency, reveal that many of the largest police forces in the country have recorded an increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims and Jews.

South Wales Police recorded eight anti-Semitic and nine Islamophobic offences in the month, up from four and six in the same time period last year.

British Transport Police saw one of the largest increases in reports of anti-Semitic crime, with 87 offences, up from eight. They also recorded a significant increase in Islamophobic offences, from two to 22.

South Wales Argus:

Methods for recording hate crime are not consistent across forces, so data cannot be used to compare the number of offences between areas or provide a national total. Gwent Police said their method involved a filter to identify racial and religious strands before a manual trawl through the crime summaries.

Superintendent Jason White has acknowledged a “small increase” in the number of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic offences in Gwent.

“While the number of offences remain low, we continue to work with all of our communities to ensure they have the confidence to report hate crimes to us,” he said.

“Our neighbourhood teams are out every day talking to communities – including the Jewish and Muslim communities – to understand concerns and reassure them about their safety.

South Wales Argus: Supt Jason White says no one should suffer in silenceSupt Jason White says no one should suffer in silence (Image: Newsquest)

“Anyone who has been subjected to hate crime should not suffer in silence. We call on all victims, members of the public or people feeling vulnerable to report it to us, either by calling 101 (999 in an emergency) or through our social media channels.”

'Abhorrent offences'

A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said the increase amounted to further evidence of a “huge upsurge in antisemitism” following the attacks of October 7.

The board told PA the rise in antisemitism had “caused enormous anxiety for Jewish people, particularly children and Jewish students on campus or indeed anyone easily identified as Jewish by their dress”.

They have called on police to take strong action against anyone found to be perpetrating hate crimes.

The Muslim Council of Britain said: “Despite the extremely low reporting rate from Muslim communities, the huge increase in Islamophobic hate crimes recorded with the police reflects what we are seeing from third-party reporting groups.

“The Government’s laissez-faire attitude to Islamophobia contrasts strongly with its no-tolerance approach to antisemitism. We are hopeful this will now change.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “There is no place for hate in our society and we condemn the recent rise in reported anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

“We expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the CPS to make sure the cowards who commit these abhorrent offences feel the full force of the law.

“Following recent events, we have also made further funding available to Jewish and Muslim communities, to provide additional security at places of worship and faith schools.”