Anti-Muslim hate crime in Manchester increased by 500% after arena attack

English Defence League Supporters in Manchester after the arena attack

Islamophobic attacks has increased by more than 500% in Greater Manchester after the suicide bombing at a pop concert last month, police have confirmed.

There were 224 reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the month after the Manchester Arena attack compared with 37 in the same period last year, official figures show.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the 505% rise in Islamophobic attacks would be dealt with toughly.

The figures came as police across Britain increased protection for Muslim communities after last Sunday night’s attack in Finsbury Park, north London.

Rob Potts, assistant chief constable of GMP said: “Greater Manchester has a diverse population, with people from different faiths and backgrounds, and this is something that we are proud of. It’s what makes us the city we are. We will not tolerate hatred or discrimination of any kind.

“When a major tragedy occurs such as the attacks in Manchester and London, it is sadly not unusual for there to be a spike in the amount of hate crimes, specifically against race and religion, but thankfully they do decrease again quickly.”

The biggest increase in hate crimes was in anti-Muslim hate crime, the figures show.

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Potts added: “We continue to monitor the levels of hate crimes that are reported and it is essential that we remind people about the importance of reporting when a hate crime happens to you, or you see it happening.

“Hate crime is often under-reported for a number of reasons, but we want people to have the confidence in coming forward as no one should be the subject of hate and intolerance.”

The Metropolitan police say the number of hate crime they record as Islamophobic attacks has spiked sharply since 2013.

The force recorded 343 incidents in the 12 months to March 2013; 1,109 in the 12 months to March 2016; and 1,260 in the 12 months to March 2017.

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