Islamophobic hate crimes increased by 40 percent in London last year
Islamophobic hate crimes rose by almost 40 percent in London in 2017, new figures have revealed.
According to figures released by the UK capital’s Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, there were 1,678 anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in the year up to January 2018, up from 1,205 from the year before.
Scotland Yard has warned that the numbers do not show the “full scale of hugely under-reported hate crimes” in the city.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said those committing the crimes would face arrest and prosecution under a “zero tolerance” approach.
“London is a place where we celebrate, cherish and embrace diversity,” he said. “I’m calling on all Londoners to pull together, and send a clear message around the world that our city will never be divided by individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life.”
Muslim community leaders and senior police figures said the rise can be linked to the terror attacks on London Bridge and the Manchester Arena last year.
Speaking to London’s Evening Standard, Iman Atta, director of campaign group Tell Mama which aims to combat Islamophobia, said the rise of anti-Muslim hate crime had “created a heightened sense of tension in Muslim communities.”
“These attacks had ripple effects, triggering Islamophobic attacks and the large increment rise you have seen,” he added.
In the days immediately after eight people were killed in the London Bridge attack in June, figures showed a 40 percent increase on the daily average number of reported Islamophobic attacks in the capital.
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Scotland Yard’s head of community engagement said: “The Met has seen a steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime, particularly racist and religious hate crime.
“Despite this rise, hate crime is hugely under-reported and no one should suffer in silence.”
He added: “London is such a diverse and tolerant city, but too many still feel marginalized, or worse intimidated to go about their daily lives due to their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender or disability.”
According to the police, hate crimes include physical attacks, damage to property, bullying and abuse.