Anti-Muslim hate crimes in Leeds surge by more than 1000%

Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira in Beeston was targeted by an arsonist in 2018. [Photo: Leeds Live]

Anti-Muslim hate crimes in Leeds which were reported to the police has increased by more than 1000% since 2013.

A Freedom of Information request returned by West Yorkshire Police earlier this month revealed that there were 261 reports of racially-aggravated crimes of targeted at Muslims in Leeds in 2018, an increase of 1035% from just 23 in 2013.

Crimes included were reports of criminal damage, inciting public fear, assault and harassment, which were considered hate crimes.

In June 2018, arsonists targeted Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira mosque in Beeston, alongside a nearby Sikh temple, meanwhile, several Muslim resident in Leeds have said that they were abused on the streets and told to “leave Britain”.

West Yorkshire Police have stated that one of the reasons for the spike in reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in recent years was due to a change in the way incidents are processed.

They added that as a result of recent world events and increasing exposure to Islamophobia in the UK, more victims were coming forward.

A spokesperson for the force said: “The force has made improvements to how information about hate incidents is recorded.

“A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes are being introduced to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims.

“Recent publicity may also have encouraged victims of hate incidents and crimes to come forward and report their experience to the police.”

Reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in Leeds since 2013:

2013 – 23

2014 – 27

2015 – 50

2016 – 105

2017 – 156

2018 – 261

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