London terror attack: Huge rise in Islamophobic hate crime following Borough Market stabbing, police figures show

Number of incidents is also higher than following the Paris attacks and the murder of Lee Rigby

Tom Batchelor
Thursday 08 June 2017 11:45 BST
Members of the Muslim community lay flowers after attending a vigil for the victims of the London Bridge terror attacks
Members of the Muslim community lay flowers after attending a vigil for the victims of the London Bridge terror attacks (Getty)

Islamophobic hate crimes jumped fivefold in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack, new figures show.

The data, collated by the Metropolitan Police, reveals there was a 40 per cent increase in racist incidents on 6 June compared with an average day this year.

Provisional figures show the number of racist incidents recorded on Tuesday was 54, compared with a daily average of 38 this year.

Looking only at incidents where the Islam was listed as a trigger, the statistics show a fivefold increase - its highest daily level in 2017.

Twenty such crimes were handled by police on Tuesday, compared with a daily average for 2017 of 3.5.

The number of reported Islamophobic hate crimes was also higher than in the days following the Paris attacks in November 2015 and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has encouraged members of the public to report hate crimes to the police, saying the city was adopting a “zero-tolerance approach”.

He said: "One of the greatest things about London is our defiant unity in the face of adversity - and that will not change in the aftermath of this horrific attack.

"Just as the police will do everything possible to root out extremism from our city, so we will take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.

"If you witness a hate crime please report it to the police. If you commit a hate crime, you face arrest.”

Islamophobic crimes rose after Westminster attacks, police reveal

The spike in reported hate crimes comes just three days after terrorists murdered eight people on London Bridge and outside restaurants and bars near Borough Market.

Mr Khan added: "I'm calling on all Londoners to pull together, and send a clear message around the world that our city will never be divided by these hideous individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life.

"London will never be cowed or divided by terrorism."

London Bridge terrorists: What we know so far

After the suicide bombing in Manchester on 22 May, Muslim leaders warned of a rise in hate crimes in the city.

There was also a spike following the Westminster incident in March, when five people were killed in a car and knife attack.

Craig Mackey, acting Commissioner of the Met, said at the time he had seen a “slight uplift” in the number of anti-Muslim attacks the day after Khalid Masood went on a killing spree.

Commenting on the upsurge, Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Islamophobic helpline Tell Mama, said there was a “measurable and large spike” after the latest attack in London.

“We know from all of the terrorist attacks since 2011 that anti-Muslim hatred spikes sharply in our country after them,” he told The Independent.

“Westminster was the only terrorist attack that did not produce a large spike of anti-Muslim hate incidents.

“We are at the coalface of supporting victims of anti-Muslim hatred and in ensuring that hate crimes are tackled and we know that the Manchester murders produced one of the largest spikes and number of cases that we have seen in 7 days after a terrorist attack.

“Within days of the spike dropping, we have another significant, measurable and large spike after the London Bridge murders.

“Terrorists are trying to divide our communities and society. People who target innocent Muslims who have nothing to do with extremism or terrorism are playing into the hands of Islamist extremist terrorists. This is what they want – divided societies and communities.”

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