Back in March 2021, a man wielding a knife was overpowered just outside a Jewish School in Marseille, France. Security personnel on hand within the school grounds spotted the individual, who was detained; and later arrested by police.
This could have been a very different story if the man in question had gained unauthorised access onto the school premises, and if the site did not have security guards to oversee and prevent this. But the big question is why do Jewish Schools have such high security measures in place compared to other schools?
Well according to the Guardian, The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 1,308 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide between January and June 2021, which is a 49% increase on the same period back in 2020. This level of anti-Semitic abuse and behaviour is the worst the UK has seen in recent decades. But, what has been the cause of this; and how can we stop this level of abuse and attacks on these schools?
Current situations have unfortunately spurred this abuse and harassment on, with continuing frictions between Gaza and Israel back in May alongside the Taliban retaking power in Afghanistan who hold very anti-Semitic views; a surge has washed over the West and schools have found themselves in the firing line for these threats and sometimes attacks. The increasing tensions in the Middle East have led to an increase of terrorism further afield towards Jews, and more specifically schools educating Jewish children. But why target these Jewish schools?
Many extremist groups believe that schools are soft targets, as mentioned in our previous article. Their security is considered easy to penetrate with open gates for students and habitual routines for the school playground. These routines can put them under threat from planned groups and even impulse attacks. Many extremists’ terror attacks that are against schools, understand the emotive pain that is felt when a school or children are attacked, which allows them to spread more hurt than just their attack. What needs to be implemented and adopted to stop these attacks happening?
The Home Office have granted The Community Trust (CST) £14 million for security measures to help keep members of the Jewish community safe in their daily lives. This funding will primarily go to schools towards their security efforts such as upgrading their perimeter fence lines or installing higher security measures like effective access control to keep these attacks away from the sites and students. The grant will allow CST to review their efforts and upgrade certain schools that are at higher risk of threats. But going back to the threat in France, the main reason why the threat was overpowered was due to the effective perimeter fencing around the school, secure physical access control to prevent entry and the presence of security guards on site. Protection of these schools starts at the perimeter with effective high security fencing to deter these sorts of threats from the outset and delay attacks, whilst implementing security guards on site to detect and alert individuals of any suspicious activity.