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Report Identity Motivated Crime

Report Identity Motivated Crime

16 May 2011

Victoria Police and the Jewish community have established a new system to ensure police respond effectively to antisemitic incidents.

Members of the community are urged to report any incidents both directly to the police and to the Community Security Group (CSG). This includes cases of antisemitic graffiti, vandalism, harassment and assault.

CSG will record all incidents and provide a monthly summary to Police Assistant Commissioner Jeff Pope, who will ensure police are responding appropriately. The police will be able to note patterns and provide appropriate protection. For example, where congregants walking to synagogue on Friday night are regularly harassed, improved police presence will be organised to deter offenders.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle welcomed the commitment from the Victoria Police to responding to antisemitic incidents.

“This is a great step forward in our relationship with the police. They will now have a much better understanding of the issues we face,” he said.

Last year there were 97 possible incidents of antisemitism in Victoria including 2 assaults, 5 cases where objects were thrown, 16 cases of vandalism or graffiti, 15 mail or messages, and 59 verbal attacks.

But Mr Searle said there were incidents that were not reported, particularly when they occurred as religious people were walking to synagogue on the Sabbath. He hopes the new system will encourage more people to report incidents, even if they wish to wait until after the Sabbath concludes in cases where safety is not an issue.

They key to the new system is encouraging community members to report all incidents. The JCCV, CSG and B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) are working together to ensure all information is centralised and no incidents are missed.

Rabbis, synagogue presidents and organisational heads will also be asked to encourage their members to be vigilant about reporting antisemitism.

Always report antisemitism. Go to the police and call CSG in office hours on 9519 8600 or in an emergency after hours on 9523 0434.

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