Rise in Islamophobic hate crimes highlights the importance of local policing

Since Paris, the number of attacks on Muslims in London has more than tripled

 

A huge increase in Islamophobic hate crimes in London highlights the need for strong local policing, Labour London Assembly Equalities spokesperson Jennette Arnold has said.

Figures released by the Met today show that since the attacks in Paris on 13 November, the number of Muslims attacked each week in London has more than tripled. In the week prior to the attacks, the Met recorded 24 Islamophobic incidents. Two weeks after they recorded 76.

The figures also show that the annual number of incidents has increased, with the majority of reports relating to harassment. There were 576 incidents reported in the 12 months up to October 2014; the following year this had increased by 47.6 per cent to 845. Mussurut Zia from the Muslim Women’s Network UK said the community was ‘fearful’.

Jennette Arnold said today:

“The events in Paris shook many people to the core, people of all faiths. These cowardly acts of hatred have no place in London which prides itself on being a city where all are welcome, whatever faith, or personal creed.

“The mayor has argued that recent increases in hate crime can simply be attributed to increased confidence to report. We know there is more to it than that, and you’ll never tackle hate crime if you solely attribute any rise to increased reporting.

“During these uncertain times, the role of local policing in strengthening community bonds is more important than ever. With cuts to the Met budget still approaching, Boris Johnson needs to fight tooth and nail to retain neighbourhood policing so that we can meet the rising challenge of hate crime in London.”

Since 2010, 1,414 police officers, 2,718 PCSOs and 63 police stations have been axed in London. Neighbourhood policing is in many areas being replaced with a cheaper area-based approach, with teams of six cut down to only two officers in each ward.

The impact this has on the safety of Londoners is clear. Over the last 12 months violent offences including stabbings, have spiked 24 per cent; an additional 40,748 violent offences.

Responding to today’s figures, the Met said it is providing extra patrols and has more than 900 officers investigating hate crime.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward

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