40% rise in Islamophobic hate crimes in London creating fear in Muslim communities

Figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime reveal that the number of Islamophobic hate crimes in London has soared by almost 40% in the past year[1], but Scotland Yard has warned that the figures do not show the full extent of hate crimes in the capital because many go unreported[2].

There were 1,678 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in capital in the year up to January 2018, up from 1,205 the previous year[3]. The rise has been attributed to the 2017 terror attacks on London Bridge and the Manchester Arena, and perhaps partially to an increase in confidence in reporting hate crimes[4]. A previous spike in hate crimes occurred in 2016 after Britain voted to leave the EU[5].

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, warned that a “zero-tolerance” approach would be taken towards hate crime, but Imam Atta, director of Tell MAMA, a campaign group combatting Islamophobia, said that the attacks had already “created a heightened sense of tension in Muslim communities”[6].

Earlier this month, Baroness Warsi, a former Conservative Minister, said that “Islamophobia is Britain’s bigotry blindspot” and has been becoming an increasing problem over previous years[7].

[1] De Peyer, 2018.

[2] De Peyer, 2018; Gerresten, 2018.

[3] De Peyer, 2018.

[4] De Peyer, 2018.

[5] De Peyer, 2018.

[6] De Peyer, 2018.

[7] Gerresten, 2018.

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De Peyer, R. (2018) ‘Revealed: Anti-Muslim hate crimes in London soared by 40% in a year’. [online] 26th February. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/revealed-antimuslim-hate-crimes-in-london-soared-by-40-in-a-year-a3775751.html. [Accessed 27 February 2018].

Gerresten, I. (2018) ‘40% rise in Islamophobic hate crimes in London linked to terror attacks’. [online] 26th February. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/40-rise-islamophobic-hate-crimes-london-linked-terror-attacks-1663932. [Accessed 27 February 2018].