LONDON: Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes in London have soared over the last year, official figures released on Monday showed, with global events apparently contributing to the rise.

Police recorded 816 Islamophobic offences in the 12 months to July, up more than 70 per cent from 478 in the previous 12 months.

Anti-Semitic crime surged 93pc over the same period, with 499 incidents recorded compared with 258 the previous year.

London’s Metropolitan Police said “world events” may have contributed to the increase, while there was also a rise in incidents on holy days when Muslim and Jewish communities were more “visible”.

A willingness by victims to report such crimes and improved ability of police to identify them were also factors, Scotland Yard said.

“In light of recent world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious,” a spokesman for the force said.

“Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams are providing a more targeted presence in key areas at key times, such as school routes, holy days and prayer times to give extra reassurance”.

Fiyaz Mughal, from Tell Mama, an organisation with monitors Islamophobic incidents, said around 60pc of victims of such offences are women wearing a hijab or headscarf.

“We also realised quite early on that women who wear niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents — there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator,” he told the BBC.

Metropolitan Police Commander Mak Chishty moved to reassure Londoners that any reports of hate crime would be taken seriously.

“We have more than 900 specialist officers across London working in our community safety units who are dedicated to investigating hate crime,” he said.—AFP

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...
Population crisis
Updated 11 Jul, 2024

Population crisis

Moreover, successful programmes, such as Lady Health Workers, can be utilised to provide information and reproductive health services to women.
Taxing agriculture
11 Jul, 2024

Taxing agriculture

OUR inability to collect sufficient tax revenue is resulting in persistently high fiscal deficits, forcing ...
Negligence at PHOTA
11 Jul, 2024

Negligence at PHOTA

THE impression that the state is being careless towards aspects of organ trade control is damaging. Recent news ...