Jewish meeting venues step up security

Security has been stepped up at Jewish conference centres in the wake of “heightened concern” about the risk of anti-Semitic violence in the United Kingdom.

Operators of meeting venues and community centres have been told to put up warning signs in their venues following a murderous attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

It has emerged that more than 2,000 CCTV cameras, almost 4,000 metres of perimeter fencing and dozens of anti-ram bollards have been put in place at Jewish buildings in the last seven years.

Extra security measures at the venues have cost more than £5m since 2008, according to figures released by the Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity. New research to be released by the trust next month is expected to show that last year anti-Semitic attacks reached the highest level ever recorded in the UK.

But a spokeswoman at the Manchester Jewish Community Centre said lack of funds meant it could offer limited protection to people attending events at the centre.

She told CN: “We are not publicly funded and like every not-for-profit organisation we are strapped for cash. Any security measures that require large outlays of cash are not on the agenda. I am looking for other ways of raising funds to improve our security. Luckily we had a course recently on what to look for and how to challenge people in a nice way if they are not the usual visitors. We need to wait and see how this pans out.”

Mark Gardner, CST director of communications, told CN: “CST has sent a security notice for display in all Jewish communal venues, requesting that security measures be complied with and strictly implemented. We have also stressed that there is no specific intelligence suggesting that an attack against the Jewish community is imminent.”

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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