Is­lam­o­pho­bic crime rises by 500 per cent

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

DO­MINIC SMITHERS AND BETH ABBIT

IS­LAM­O­PHO­BIC crimes and in­ci­dents in Greater Manchester in­creased 500 PER CENT af­ter the Man- ch­ester bomb at­tack, ac­cord­ing to po­lice fig­ures.

Hun­dreds of com­plaints about at­tacks, threats, van­dal­ism, and other in­ci­dents di­rected against Mus­lim res­i­dents were re­ceived by GMP in the wake of the Arena at­tack on May 22.

Mus­lim or­gan­i­sa­tions – as well as in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies – now say they face daily ha­rass­ment and abuse by those who wrongly blame them for the ac­tions Is­lamist-in­spired Sal­man Abedi.

Po­lice in Greater Manchester have promised to take tough ac­tion but say they be­lieve the spike of hate-fu­elled in­ci­dents is only tem­po­rary.

The new fig­ures come just days an at­tack on Lon­don’s Fins­bury Park Mosque which saw one man killed and 11 in­jured.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial GMP fig­ures, there were a to­tal of 224 re­ports of Is­lam­o­pho­bic crimes in the four weeks fol­low­ing the Manchester bomb at­tack, un­til June 19.

Some of these com­plaints were later classed by po­lice as hate ‘in­ci­dents’, mean­ing that while not cat­e­gorised as crim­i­nal the events were dis­turb­ing enough to be recorded.

In the same pe­riod last year, there were only 37 hate crime and hate in­ci­dents re­ported – equal to a 500pc in­crease.

There was no of­fi­cial break­down about the na­ture of the in­ci­dents.

But busi­nesses, mosques lead­ers and in­di­vid­u­als have told our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N. about fac­ing phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse.

It was re­ported how a mosque in Old­ham was hit by a fire bomb just hours af­ter the Arena at­tack.

Tell Mama, an or­gan­i­sa­tion which records Is­lam­o­pho­bic crime, ear­lier this week re­ported a UK-wide in­crease in in­ci­dents.

A se­nior GMP of­fi­cer has ac­knowl­edged the spike in hate crimes di­rected against Mus­lims in the im­me­di­ate wake of the at­tack, but says that in re­cent days the vol­ume is now re­turn­ing to sim­i­lar, more ex­pected lev­els.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Rob Potts said: “Greater Manchester has a di­verse pop­u­la­tion, with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent faiths and back­grounds and this is some­thing that we are proud of, it’s what makes us the city we are.

“We will not tol­er­ate ha­tred or dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind. When a ma­jor tragedy oc­curs such as the at­tacks in Manchester and Lon­don, it is sadly not un­usual for there to be a spike in the amount of hate crimes, specif­i­cally against race and re­li­gion, but thank­fully they do de­crease again quickly.

“We con­tinue to mon­i­tor the lev­els of hate crimes that are re­ported and it is essen­tial that we re­mind peo­ple about the im­por­tance of re­port­ing when a hate crime hap­pens to you, or you see it hap­pen­ing.

“Hate crime is of­ten un­der re­ported for a num­ber of rea­sons, but we want peo­ple to have the con­fi­dence in com­ing for­ward as no one should be the sub­ject of hate and in­tol­er­ance.”

In the wake of the Fins­bury Park Mosque at­tack, GMP promised to carry out ex­tra, vis­i­ble pa­trols out­side mosques and other re­li­gious build­ings in Greater Manchester. Mr Potts urged the public to con­tinue to re­port any hate crime to po­lice or Crimestop­pers.

Deputy Mayor for Polic­ing and Crime Bev­er­ley Hughes said: “There is no place for hate crime in Greater Manchester. There is no ex­cuse for tar­get­ing some­one be­cause of who they are or what they be­lieve.”

GMP As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Rob Potts said: ‘we will not tol­er­ate ha­tred or dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind’

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