HATE crimes across the conurbation have fallen since last year, figures suggest.

Since March 22 and June 4 this year, Dorset Police received 48 reports of hate crime in Bournemouth, 16 in Poole and five in Christchurch.

In the same period during 2016, there were 56 reports in Bournemouth, 13 in Poole and seven in Christchurch.

The Community Security Trust, which records incidents of antisemitism in the region said they'd had two incidents reported to them this year, whereas they'd received four incidents in 2016.

In April they were informed of four carved swastikas at a shelter along Bournemouth seafront and in May they'd been told of graffiti that read 'Jews go home' alongside a swastika on the wall of the car park at the rear of Waitrose in Winton.

Rabbi Maurice Michaels, of the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, said that incidents of antisemitism are commonplace particularly after terror attacks.

"A lot of it is because the people, who are racist, don't care who they attack," he said. "They don't even recognise the difference between Muslims and Sikhs, for example. They are all different, they are all foreign and therefore they are all tarred with the same brush, so to speak.

"Anti-Semites think 'other people are doing it so we can get away with it'. When hate crimes are happening it is open season."

Rabbi Michaels said that he was recently praised by Muslims following a speech he made who said he could have been speaking from the Quran such were the similarities between the Jewish and Muslim faiths.

And yet whenever there are incidents of terror attacks it seems that the issue of Israel is used as an excuse to push such hate crimes, Rabbi Michaels added.

"Whenever there is an issue with Israel then hate crimes in this country exist. It is used as an excuse," he said.

"In the world there is, at the moment, a polarisation between globalisation on one hand and nationalism on the other.

"If you take Marine Le Pen - nationalism in the extreme - and Emmanuel Macron, he is the polar opposite.

"Brexit was a vote for nationalism. The same applies to Trump and how 'America will be great again'. That is nationalism.

"It didn't have quite the rhetoric as Le Pen but it wasn't far from it. And that serves hate crime because if people in power can say it then so can we. It's a very small step from words to action."

Incidents of hate crime - whether antisemitic or otherwise - are why Rabbi Michaels says it has been so important to forge relationships across the different faiths in the region. He, Revd Ian Terry and the Imam Majid Yasin have worked hard in recent years to continue the friendship.

"For me building that relationship with the Imam has been really important. It has been essential," Rabbi Michaels added.

"It is important to carry out interfaith meetings to try and cut down these barriers."