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Hate crimes surged after UK terror attacks: Police

Press Trust of India  |  London 

There was a significant surge in hate crime incidents in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the UK this year, the police here said today.

The UK's National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said there was an increase in abuse in the days following the car and knife attack near Parliament in March, a suicide bombing in Manchester in May and another car and knife rampage at London Bridge and Borough Market area of London in June.

Police recorded 234 hate crime incidents 48 hours after the first attack, 273 were reported following the Manchester bombing and 319 recorded two days after the London Bridge attack.

This marked a 12 per cent spike after the Westminster attack near Parliament, 50 per cent after Manchester and 34 per cent after the London Bridge attack.

"We know that terrorist attacks and other national and global events have the potential to trigger short-term spikes in hate crime and so we have been carefully monitoring community tensions following recent horrific events," said assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, the NPCC's lead for hate crime.

"Reporting from police forces show that levels of hate crime peaked in the wake of the attacks but quickly subsided within a few days. This is in line with trends we have seen before, though obviously still a real concern for the police service and wider society," he said.

The biggest increase came after the Manchester Arena bombing, which claimed 22 lives, with a 50 per cent rise in hate crime in the week of the attack compared with a year before.

By contrast, hate crime reports were seven per cent lower in the week after the Finsbury Park attack in London when a van was driven into Muslim worshippers.

The NPCC estimates the vast majority of increases in hate crimes were driven by race or faith hate crimes.

Police said in 2016 there were on an average 171 hate crimes per day - although this could be higher on weekends, where more hate crimes tended to be reported, or after specific events such as protest marches.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 11 2017. 19:57 IST