British Pakistanis make up more than a quarter of racially-aggravated attacks in one of the most densely populated cities in Greater Manchester.
27 per cent of all racially-aggravated crimes in the city of Salford between 2011 and 2012 targeted Pakistanis and police reports indicate that it is on the increase.
The figures were revealed following a freedom of information request to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) which showed an 18% increase in attacks on Pakistanis from 2011 to 2012.
Out of 2,485 racially-motivated attacks in Salford in the two years, 689 were on Asian Pakistanis, which was more than double the attacks on white British people (308).
Chief Inspector Dave Henthorne for GMP’s Salford Division, said: “While we know that there has been an increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against Asian Pakistanis in the area, over half of racially motivated hate crimes are solved by police in Salford, which is an increase on previous years.
“However we will continue to work hard to improve on this. Our officers and partners such as the local housing providers continue to work with communities to root out perpetrators, show them that we won’t tolerate this type of crime and bring them to justice.”
Salford is one of the most densely-populated cities in Greater Manchester for Pakistanis, with around 3% of its residents classing themselves as Asian or British Asian
5 Pillarz spoke to some residents of Salford and greater Manchester about the figures revealed by GMP.
Mohammed Shakil who lives in Salford said: “Salford is notorious for its racist attacks. The media may not cover it, but it definitely exists. It was not too long ago that an international student from India was shot dead point blank by Kiaran Stapleton in cold blood on Boxing Day 2011.”
Ansar Ahmed, who is a student at the University of Manchester but originally from Oldham, said: “I was surprised at hearing the findings of this report. You’d think that Manchester is a cosmopolitan melting pot with a considerable Asian and Muslim population. I have heard about the area of Salford, but you tend to hear about Moss Side and Longsight more in regards to crime and violence.”
Muhammad Bashir who is a regular worshiper at Manchester Central Mosque said: “These findings are very worrying for the Pakistani community who live in Salford and Greater Manchester. But I am confident the police authorities are doing all they can to prevent such hate crimes from increasing and will work hard to catch those who are responsible.”
When asked whether Islam had anything to do with the increased number of racial attacks Mr Bashir said: “There is a possibility that the ‘Muslim’ element does play a role, but after the Woolwich murder I believe it most definitely will. You can’t get arrested and be charged for ‘Islamophobic crimes’ so attacks which target Muslims of Asian ethnicity will be dealt as racially-aggravated.”
GMP explained they follow the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) definition for what constitutes as a “racially-aggravated” crime.
The ACPO states a hate crime is one which “constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate”.
Chief Inspector Henthorne said: “We know however, that this type of crime continues to be under-reported and we would encourage our community to report any incidents or concerns.
“By increasing the number of reports we receive for this type of crime, the community is also helping us to find the best way to address it.”
Racial attacks on a whole went up from 1140 in 2011 to 1345 in 2012 while attacks on Asian Pakistanis went up from 316 to 373 in the same timeframe – both at a rate of 18%.
Chief Inspector Henthorne said: “Our partners at Salford City Council are in the process of producing the latest hate crime profile for the city which will assist the partnership in tackling these types of crimes and incidents.
“Any incident motivated by religious or racial hatred is abhorrent and can cause people a great deal of upset.
“We do not want people to suffer in silence and want them to speak out when they are subjected to any form of abuse – we want them to tell us so we can bring the offenders to justice.”
The freedom of information request was made by Suraj Radia of Manchunian Matters.