Islamophobic hate crimes up by 500 per cent
Islamophobic hate crimes surged by more than 500 percent in 2017 – a rise police are linking to last year’s terror attacks.
West Mercia Police received 11 reports in 2016 compared to 68 up until November in 2017, figures from a Freedom of Information request reveal.
The most amount of reports were in June and July when 21 and 13 were made to the force respectively.
This was around the time of the terror attacks at the Manchester Arena concert venue on May 22 and the London Bridge attack on June 2.
In August, September, October and November the number fell, with a combined total of 15 hate crimes reported.
Chief Superintendent Charles Hill said the rise was “concerning” and insisted West Mercia Police investigates all reports of hate crime.
“We saw a number of terrorist incidents last year and it is a sad fact this led some people to believe this type of behaviour is acceptable; it is not,” he said.
“This rise in hate crime is concerning and we are working hard in our communities to address it.
“We saw a rise in offences following terrorist attacks that then dropped back to lower levels. This was a pattern that was seen across the country.
“I would like to reassure people that we will investigate all reports of hate crime and seek to bring offenders to justice and give support to victims.
“It is reassuring to see more people having the confidence to come forward to report when they have been a victim of hate crime.
"We know that hate crimes are underreported and we have done a lot of work to address this and ensure victims of hate crime are confident that they will be listened to and supported.”
From the start of 2015 to November last year, a total of 88 hate crimes against Muslims were reported to the police.
There were nine reports made in 2015, 11 in 2016 and 68 in 2017.
West Mercia Police was unable to provide the statistics for December when the Freedom of Information data was published.
The force offers support to victims through its Independent Advisory Group.