Soaring religious and race crimes in UK capital ‘normalising’ hate against Muslims - monitor

Latest figures show religious and racist hate crimes recorded by London police had risen by 107 per cent between 2011 and 2018

Religious and racist hate crimes have soared between 2011 and 2018. Getty
Religious and racist hate crimes have soared between 2011 and 2018. Getty

Racist and religious hate crime in the UK capital has risen by more than 100 per cent in just seven years, according to figures by London’s Metropolitan Police.

A report published on Monday by the police and crime committee of the London Assembly said there were 19,000 hate crime offences recorded in 2018, amounting to 50 offences a day, in comparison with 9,455 in 2011.

Racist and religious hate crimes, which includes faith, Islamophobic and antisemitic hate crimes, made up 87 per cent of all hate crimes recorded by the Met last year. In 2011, there were 7,989 offences recorded, rising to 16,528 offences by 2018. There were also huge hikes in the number of disability, homophobic and transgender hate crimes recorded.

A hate crime in the UK is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice” based on a person’s characteristic or perceived characteristic, for example race.

Iman Atta, Director of Islamophobic hate crime monitor TellMAMA, described the figures as “worrying” and said hate against Muslims was becoming “normalised”.

“The majority of the reports that we receive are abusive behaviour in nature. Nevertheless, we are seeing more physical assaults and discrimination cases,” Ms Atta told The National. “In our recent analysis we see that hate is becoming more normalised. Abusive words or discrimination cases are becoming a normal thing that Muslims are having to go through.”

Ms Atta said in the capital, where the majority of Londoners take public transport to work, the Underground and buses had become hotspots for anti-Muslim hate crime.

She said: “The majority of these incidents are taking place in public spaces in particular on public transport, as well as in the workplace. Public spaces allow the perpetrator to be in close proximity with the victim so they can say something and walk off.”

The British Transport Police recorded 2,307 hate crimes in 2018, more than half of which had taken place on Underground tube trains.

There was also a spike in the number of hate crimes reported after key events such as the 2016 Brexit referendum and the London Bridge terror attack in 2017.

Ms Atta said TellMAMA had received frequent reports from Muslim women being blamed in the workplace by colleagues for any terrorist attack that had occurred across the world. She said that women made up 58 per cent of all victims the monitor received reports from.

“London is cosmopolitan, open and diverse and it is a minority that is perpetrating that hate,” Ms Atta said. “But that minority has different routes to amplify their voices. Unfortunately, these voices are getting louder and people are getting hit with hate.”

The assembly, an elected body which scrutinises the London's Mayor’s office, report urged Sadiq Khan, to do more to tackle hate and intolerance in the capital. It recommended providing greater support to victims of hate crime as well as improving the level and quality of work with hate crime offenders to challenge the attitudes that underpin their hate.

Updated: September 30, 2019 08:01 PM

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