Page last updated at 04:57 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 05:57 UK

Anti-Semitic incidents 'rise 9%'

Damage to Finsbury Park synagogue in 2002
There were neo-Nazi images or Nazi references in 51 incidents

There was a 9% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period last year, a charity has reported.

There were 266 incidents up to June, compared with 244 last year, according to the Community Security Trust (CST).

Some 166 were incidents of abusive behaviour, including verbal abuse, hate mail and anti-Semitic graffiti.

CST admitted that improved contact with smaller Jewish communities "goes some way to explaining the overall rise".

Incidents involving Jewish students or academics and at colleges rose 88%, from 26 to 49.

There were also 29 incidents involving Jewish schools and schoolchildren.

Violent assaults were down, from 54 in the first six months of 2007, to 42.

Smaller communities

Outside the biggest Jewish communities in London and Manchester, CST recorded 98 incidents in 38 different areas.

This included 21 incidents in Leeds, up from 13 a year before, and a rise from six to 10 in Liverpool.

In the first half of 2007, CST had recorded 70 incidents in 25 locations outside London and Manchester.

"This is partly explained by efforts made by CST to improve contact with smaller Jewish communities beyond the main urban centres, and goes some way to explaining the overall rise in incidents," the charity said.

John Mann MP, chair of the parliamentary group against anti-Semitism, said the report showed improved reporting of incidents involving students and smaller communities.

"By knowing the scale of the problem we can deploy strategies to combat anti-Semitism from our streets and our campuses," he said.

"Every anti-Semitic attack is a blight on society."

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