The latest hate crime figures from the Metropolitan Police Service once again show a startling set of data. Take for example a 68% increase in Islamophobic hate crime from September 2012 to September 2013 in Tower Hamlets. Or the 475% increase in the London Borough of Greenwich during the same period, or the 50% increase in Islamophobic hate crimes in Hackney when comparing the same time periods; or take the 200% increase in Lambeth or Southwark during the same time periods.
What these figures show are a 55% increase in Islamophobic hate crimes when compared between September 2012 to 2013. Thankfully, the spike in Islamophobic hate crimes in London is reducing from the figure of 815 in August 2013 to 680, though it should be noted that the figures are coming down after the peak post Woolwich and the murder of drummer Lee Rigby. Nonetheless, what it shows is that there was a post Woolwich peak and that Islamophobic crimes remain an issue across the capital.
On a final note, could there be the possibility that people are better informed and are more confident in reporting in Islamophobic hate crimes? Well that could be the case, though such large rises take decades of work and resources to build community confidence in reporting in. We, TELL MAMA, have been working over the last 18 months on community education programmes and therefore the spike in reporting, we believe, is strongly due to the post-Woolwich backlash. We will, no doubt, continue to keep an eye on the data coming through from mulitple sources, including our casework.