Islamophobic hate crime rise in LondonNews
londonbdnews24: The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms. We have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and the hidden nature of this crime.
There were 478 reported Islamophobic offences in the 12 months preceding July 2014. There have been 816 offences for the following 12 months to July 2015. This equates to a +70.7% increase.
We believe an increase in recorded Islamophobic offences in London is due to a range of factors. This includes a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime, an improved awareness of MPS staff in identifying these offences; and work with partners to support victims.
World events can also influence a rise in hate crime incidents, as can High Holy days, due to increased numbers of visibly Muslim and Jewish people travelling to and from their place of worship. During High Holy days, officers carry out high visibility reassurance patrols, which can lead to increased reporting of hate crime due to enhanced visibility and contact.
In light of recent world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious. 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. We speak regularly with local, mosques, synagogues and other faith communities, while closely monitoring the situation.
We also work closely with organisations representing different faiths regarding hate crime issues, such as TellMAMA for Islamophobic incidents and the Community Security Trust [CST] for anti-Semitic hate crime.
Commander Mak Chishty, MPS hate crime lead, said: "We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders.
"Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police. We have more than 900 specialist officers across London working in our Community Safety Units who are dedicated to investigating hate crime.
"We are always seeking ways to increase reporting and work with a number of third party reporting sites, such as the CST, so that victims who feel unable to approach police direct can report crime to non-police organisations and individuals. Victims of hate crime can in addition now report online on the Met's website.
"No one should suffer in silence, so please report hate crime to us as soon as possible so we can act."