(JTA) — The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain this year has risen 53 percent over the same period last year, according to British Jewry’s main watchdog on anti-Semitism.
The Community Security Trust, or CST, reported Thursday that it had recorded 473 cases in the first six months of 2015, compared to 309 incidents recorded in the corresponding period last year.
The increase is likely the result of a growing inclination by victims to report the incidents and does not necessarily reflect an increase in their prevalence, CST wrote in a statement about the report.
“These figures may of course include a real rise in incident levels, but our analysis strongly suggests that the primary explanation is a greater willingness by people to report antisemitism, either to CST or Police (with whom CST has an incident exchange protocol),” the statement read.
The increase in reporting, CST said, is believed to be due to heightened concern in the British Jewish community following terrorist attacks in January and February against the Jewish communities of Paris – where an Islamist killed four Jews at a kosher market – and Copenhagen, where another Islamist gunned down a Jewish guard at a synagogue.
January saw 106 anti-Semitic incidents reported to CST, the sixth-highest monthly total since CST began recording anti-Semitic incidents in the 1980s.
CST recorded 44 violent anti-Semitic assaults in the first half of 2015, double the 22 incidents of this type recorded during the comparable period in 2014.
Vandalism and threats each featured in 36 of the incidents this year.
One incident involved a handwritten hate letter sent in February to a synagogue in Scotland.
“Hitler attempted to rid Europe of the filthy Jews and everything they stand for, he failed,” the letter read. “Next time there must be no mistakes made, they are as much use on the planet and to humanity as dog s***.”