Racist and anti-semitic graffiti must be removed quickly and reported to the police, council leaders have been reminded.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles and chief executive of the Community Security Trust (CST) David Delew, have issued the warning following a sharp increase in the number of anti-semitic incidents that targeted Britain’s Jewish community this summer.
The CST, an organisation that monitors levels of UK based anti-semitism, recorded 302 incidents in July alone, compared with 304 in the first half of the year.
Councils are already empowered by law to remove any physical sign of hatred on any property.
Mr Pickles said: 'A particularly pernicious expression of anti-semitism and other forms of hatred is the daubing of slogans or symbols, via graffiti or the fixing of stickers and posters, onto both public and private property.
'In these instances, a visible display of hate can increase tensions between communities, as well as providing a physical reminder to the victim of the abuse they have suffered.
'We must all continue to stand unified against all forms of hatred be it anti-semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, racism or homophobia, whatever its manifestation, whether it is expressed on social media, as a physical attack, as a verbal threat, or in any other manner.'
Under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, local authorities have the powers to swiftly remove any physical sign of hatred on any property in order to minimise the risk of increased tensions.