The Community Security Trust, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region have all enjoyed an excellent, longstanding working relationship with Greater Manchester Police. This has been solidified in recent years with the unwavering support of Baroness Beverley Hughes in her role as Police and Crime Commissioner.
We were therefore delighted to be invited to meet with Stephen Watson, the newly appointed Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police alongside Baroness Hughes. The community was represented by CST Northern Regional Director, Amanda Bomsztyk alongside the Chair of the JRC, Mark Adlestone OBE DL and Chief Executive, Marc Levy.
We detailed the concerns of the Jewish community who have recently been subjected to a huge surge in antisemitism. It was emphasised how between the 8th May and 7th June, CST recorded unprecedented levels of hate crime. The context and reasons behind this spike was explored and the recent CST Report “The Month of Hate – Antisemitism and Extremism During the Israel-Gaza Conflict” was discussed.
During the recent conflict, the operational working relationship between CST and GMP was pivotal in ensuring the Jewish community remained secure. The determination from GMP to engage with and protect the Jewish community is well established and hugely appreciated.
AMANDA BOMSZTYK – NORTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF CST – MARK ADLESTONE OBE DL – CHAIR OF THE JRC AND MARC LEVY – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE JRC STATE:-
“We are grateful to Stephen and Baroness Hughes for allowing us to discuss our concerns over the increase in hate crime targeting the community across Greater Manchester. The Jewish community has always been confident and outward facing but the recent increase in hate crime is a natural worry.
We left our meeting feeling reassured that our concerns have been recognised and will be acted upon. Both Stephen and Baroness Hughes went to great lengths to state their unequivocal and full support to our community.
We are fortunate that there is such close collaboration between our organisations. We will continue working together to ensure Jewish people across the City feel safe to continue with their daily lives.
CHIEF CONSTABLE WATSON – GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE STATES:-
“GMP focuses everything we do on keeping people safe and that includes making sure we deal with hate crime in a robust and compassionate manner. It was a pleasure to meet representatives of our Jewish communities and to hear about the specific issues resulting from a detestable surge in anti-Semitism experienced recently and how our officers have helped people feel safer. Reinvigorating our approach to neighborhood policing is one way in which I intend to improve how we deliver policing services in Manchester. Key to this is developing a more meaningful understanding of our diverse communities and their needs and I look forward to involving community representatives in formative discussions.”
BARONESS BEVERLEY HUGHES – POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER STATES:-
“The recent meeting was a continuation of our regular meetings which have been especially important at what has undoubtedly been a difficult time for members of the Jewish community in Greater Manchester on the back of a spate of often vicious and unprovoked attacks. As Deputy Mayor for Policing I am always keen to ensure that all of our communities feel that they can rely on us to do all we can to support and protect them when they most need it. It is through dialogue with groups community groups and their leaders that we can help provide that reassurance and gain insight into what our communities need.”