ONE POLICE PLAZA — Anti-Semitic hate crimes are up 40 percent across the city this year, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton who downplayed the spike Wednesday and then pointed the finger at the press.
“When (the media) cover something, it tends to attract more attention,” Bratton told reporters following a security briefing for the Jewish High Holy Days at police headquarters.
“But we have seen this before, that when there’s attention paid to an issue, that it brings this about," Bratton continued. "And when there’s continued attention — and the issue in Gaza, where it stretched over several weeks — we could see a continuing increase.”
There have been 224 total hate crimes across the boroughs this year, a 20 percent increase from last year, the NYPD said. The commissioner said there have been 89 anti-Semitic hate crimes investigated this year.
On Monday night, fliers showing swastikas above the word "Uber" were found in Williamsburg, the NYPD said.
Bratton said they have been “lone-wolf” incidents, though, and aren’t part of a larger trend.
“These tend to be very spontaneous actions by individuals, which we watch very closely and move very aggressively to solve and make arrests for,” he said.
But Jerome Hauer, the commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service, said there’s no end in sight to anti-Semitism and urged Jewish communities to be alert.
“Anti-Semitism is rising at a rate we haven’t seen in a long, long time, and I think it will continue to grow,” Hauer said.
“When you see things that are out of the ordinary, call the police. Vigilance is absolutely key. You have to be part of the solution.”