There has been a strong spike in incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the UK this year, according to police data released on Saturday.
The UK’s National Police Chiefs' Council, or NPCC, said there was an increase in abuse facing the masses in the country in the days following a car-and-knife attack near parliament in March, a suicide bombing in Manchester in May and another car-and-knife rampage near London Bridge and Borough Market area in London in June.
The police recorded 234 hate crime incidents just within 48 hours of the first attack, 273 following the Manchester bombing, and 319 within two days of the London Bridge attack. Hate crime reports increased by 12% after Westminster, 50% after Manchester and 34% following London Bridge, the NPCC data revealed.
According to police, last year there were 171 hate crimes per day on an average although this could be higher on weekends, when more hate crimes tended to be reported, or after specific events such as protest marches.
The NPCC estimates the vast majority of increases in hate crimes were driven by race or faith hate crimes.
"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 NPCC Lead for Hate Crimes Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton.
“Reports from police 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 it is still obviously a real concern for the police service and wider society," he added.
The biggest increase was reported after the Manchester episode, which claimed 22 lives, with a 50% rise in hate crimes in the week of the attack compared with a year before. By contrast, hate crime reports were 7% lower in the week after the Finsbury Park attack in London on June 19 when a van ploughed into Muslim worshippers, leaving one killed and 11 others severely injured.