Islamophobic hate crime rises after Westminster attack

Last Wednesday's attack in Westminster

There has been an increase in Islamophobic hate crime in the wake of the Westminster attack.

The acting Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, Craig Mackey, said the force had seen a “slight uplift” in the number of anti-Muslim attacks the day after the attack which killed four people and injured 50 others last week

Khalid Masood, 52, drove a car into pedestrians walking along Westminster Bridge before stabbing an unarmed police officer. He then attempted to run through the grounds but was shot dead by armed police.

The Met police have said that Masood had no known links to international terrorist organisations and that he “acted alone and we may never know his motive.”

Speaking to the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, Deputy Commissioner Mackey said: “We began tracking [Islamophobic activity] straight away and we keep that tracking in progress as we speak today. We saw a slight uplift in what we call ‘Islamophobic incidents’ the day after the event but small and far smaller than we have seen in previous events.”

Praising faith leaders for their immediate response to the attack, he said he believed this was one of the reasons that Islamophobic hate crime was down on previous occasions.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has issued advice for the safety and security of Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim and people of colour.

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In light of the present situation, IHRC urges that precautionary measures be taken:

  • Be vigilant.
  • Do not open suspect packages.
  • Monitor access to car parks and other enclosures under your control. Report suspicious vehicles to the police.
  • Review security arrangements regularly to ensure they are adequate for any event you intend to host.
  • Ask your local crime prevention officer to carry out a crime prevention survey of your building.
  • Encourage staff to take security seriously and establish regular training for them. Ensure they are aware of contingency plans and procedures for the building. Make guidelines readily available to all staff including ‘out of doors’ housekeeping staff.
  • Consider having a fire safety review carried out by your London Fire and Emergency planning Authority.
  • Consider installing CCTV. If you do have CCTV ensure it records properly & images are of good quality.
  • Report all harassment, whether it is verbal, physical or psychological, to your local police and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (020 8904 4222,
  • In the UK, Only use 999 for genuine emergencies, because non-emergency calls on this number ties up essential services when it could be diverted elsewhere.

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