THE level of anti-Semitic hate crime has risen by almost four fifths in Greater Manchester over the past year alone.

Across the area Greater Manchester as a whole, there was a 79 per cent increase in reported incidents in 2014 to 309 compared to 173 the previous year.

According to the annual report by the Community Security Trust (CST). incidents included the verbal abuse of a 12-year-old girl and the damaging of Jewish gravestones.

Tony Lloyd said: “It can never be acceptable to target someone because of who they are and this report should spur us all to stand together against the perpetrators of hate.

“The nature of some of the incidents – particularly children being verbally abused and the desecration of the graves of loved ones – are hard to imagine. There is no justification for this behaviour.”

In Greater Manchester, police work closely with the CST to share information about hate crime and build confidence within the Jewish community to report it.

He added: “We have to continue in this approach if we are serious in tackling hate crime. Communities and agencies have to work together to root out hatred and promote tolerance and respect - the building blocks of strong, safe communities.”