Racial attacks on increase

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RACIALLY motivated attacks and incidents of harassment in Britain have soared to more than 365 each day with at least 30 of those needing police action, according to the Commission for Racial Equality's annual report published yesterday.

Herman Ouseley, CRE chairman, said the number of racial incidents recorded by the police had doubled in the past five years to more than 9,000, with a 20 per cent increase last year alone.

The number of low-level incidents, ranging from harassment to name-calling, was more than 130,000 a year.

Mr Ouseley told a press conference that the number of complaints of racial harassment received by the CRE rose to 1,630 last year compared to 1,557 the previous year, and almost double the 994 total 10 years earlier.

He said a series of incidents last year created a 'climate of fear'. These included the violent assault on Bangladesh- born Quddus Ali in Tower Hamlets, east London, in September, which left him in a coma for three months. There was the election of a BNP candidate to the Millwall ward of Tower Hamlets and the 'apparent targeting' by the Immigration Service of a charter flight from Jamaica and the deporting of 28 Christmas visitors.

He said in the five years before 1993 the number of racial incidents led to 'a strong feeling in many communities that racist violence was on the rise against a backdrop of increased political activity by racist groups'. He added: 'No part of the country was free of the problem.'