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Saturday, October 15, 2005

UK MPs to investigate anti-Semitism

This is interesting. The government is launching a parliamentary group to investigate the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. This of course is welcomed as an important move to combat the kind of hatred that leads to attacks. However, my one reservation is that this move was based on the Community Security Trust's figures. These figures are based on nine categories that CST use. Here they are.

1.Extreme violence
2.Assault
3.Damage and Desecration
4.Threats
5.Abusive behaviour
6.Literature
7.Info Collection
8.Criminal
9.Suspicious behaviour

They provide absolutely no definition of these categories. How can you count crimes when you can't even define the categories your putting them in. For instance how is info collection anti-Semitic? How can one commit anti-Semitic suspicious behaviour? What's the difference between threats and abusive behaviour? How does anyone know wether there is any double counting?

Anyone who's read the Metropolitan Police/CST report from three years ago will be able to see how this way of defining crime is innaccurate and flawed. For instance there's a percentage (about 25%) of these crimes that are committed by family members, business partners, neighbours and spouses. This is never mentioned and probably never will be.

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