Police forces across England and Wales are to start recording data on hate crimes against Muslims, according to the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
It will mark the first time all forces will be compelled to consider Islamophobic attacks as a specific category, as happens in the reporting of anti-Semitic crimes.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service currently records attacks against Muslims separately, and in September reported a 71 percent rise in physical, verbal and online Islamophobic crimes.
But the new move will see all forces across England and Wales record data in a similar way.
“Creating a separate category will enable police, prosecutors, local authorities and the communities they serve to have a better understanding of the prevalence of anti-Muslim hate crime and allocate resources accordingly. It will provide the first accurate picture of the extent of anti-Muslim hate crime in England and Wales,” the PM’s office said in a statement.
National data suggests religious hate crimes increased by 45 percent, and race hate crime by 4 percent, between 2013 and 2014.
New statistics being published this morning by the UK Home Office are expected to show further rises, according to the Prime Minister’s office.
Cameron will today host the first meeting of the new Community Engagement Forum to discuss countering extremism, his office said. He is expected to announce new funding for the security of all faith establishments, including mosques.
“I want to build a national coalition to challenge and speak out against extremists and the poison they peddle. I want British Muslims to know we will back them to stand against those who spread hate and to counter the narrative which says Muslims do not feel British. And I want police to take more action against those who persecute others simply because of their religion,” Cameron said.
Home Secretary Theresa May said hate crime “has no place” in Britain.
“Working with police to provide a breakdown in religious-based hate crime data will help forces to build community trust, target their resources and enable the public to hold them to account,” she said.SHOW MORE