"As the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, and indeed as a citizen, I am of course concerned about the recent rise in hate incidents targeted at our Jewish communities. We have recorded 38 anti-Semitic hate incidents in Scotland since the end of June. 20 of these incidents have been recorded as crimes. To put this in some sort of context, the average number of incidents in Scotland over the course of an entire year is less than ten. The current situation is completely unacceptable to any decent person.
I have had conversations with members of the Jewish community over the last few days and you have made clear the deep level of concern you are experiencing. I can tell you that we understand your worries and we are doing our level best to prevent these incidents from happening and, where they do occur, we are working hard to identify the offenders and deal with them effectively and quickly. We have identified the alleged perpetrators in 14 of these incidents: 8 persons have been arrested, 3 more will be reported to the PF, and a further 3 are likely to be reported.
I am aware that the current situation in Gaza has raised concerns within our communities. However, our communities rightly expect that Police Scotland will not tolerate hate crime or any other criminal activity. I can tell you that none of the people who have been abused in Scotland over the past few weeks have been responsible for events in the Middle East. They are simply ordinary Scots people who were abused whilst quietly going about their daily business. Attacking them is not lawful protest.
I am proud of the strong links Police Scotland has with our communities, and I am proud of the social cohesion we have in Scotland. I will be working hard to ensure that both are maintained over the coming months and years."