British police are stepping up security in Jewish areas in response to last week’s terror attacks in Paris, Britain’s most senior counter-terror officer has said.
Assistant Commission Mark Rowley revealed that the heads of police forces around the country are reviewing how to prevent attacks against those deemed targets by Islamist extremists.
“The global picture of terrorist activity does give us heightened concern about the risk to the Jewish community in the UK,” said Mr Rowley.
“We are seeing continuing anti-Semitic rhetoric from extremists and attacks on this community in France and elsewhere.
“In addition to our existing security measures, we are in dialogue with Jewish community leaders about further actions that we will be taking, including more patrols in key areas.”
There are around 200,000 Jews living in the UK, with the population concentrated around north and east London. Substantial populations also exist in Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool.
“We remain alert to the vulnerabilities of other communities,” Mr Rowley added. “Where we do have particular concerns, we make these known to those involved.
“For example, we continue to be alive to those who want to exploit the current situation and create fear in our Muslim communities, with whom we work closely, to offer our protection and reassurance.”
He also said that police forces were reviewing how to protect themselves from attacks. Amedy Coulibaly, one of the French attackers, killed a police woman the day after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Mr Rowley added: “We are also considering what further measures we might put in place to enhance the security of police officers, given some of the deliberate targeting of the police we have seen in a number of countries across Europe and the world.
“Chief constables across the country are reviewing how to strengthen the protection of their officers from such attacks.
“Our men and women on the frontline are used to confronting risk and danger and are well-trained in how to protect the public and themselves.”