Racist and anti-religious hate crimes dramatically peaked immediately after recent terror attacks in the UK, official figures have revealed.
Police chiefs said there was “real concern” over data showing increases of up to 50% in physical and verbal abuse of minorities in the days after the attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge.
Alleged race or faith hate offences accounted for the vast majority of rises, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
Data from forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed that were sharp rises in hate crimes within the two days after recent terror attacks on UK soil.
A total of 273 incidents were reported in the two days after the Manchester attacks – up by 50% on the same period a year earlier.
There were similar increases after Westminster and London Bridge, with police forces logging 234 and 319 hate crimes respectively.
However, there was no such rise after the terror attack in Finsbury park, in which a white man attacked a group of Muslims.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, the NPCC’s lead for hate crime, said the figures were not surprising.
Reporting from police forces show that levels of hate crime peaked in the wake of the attacks but quickly subsided within a few days.
This is in line with trends we have seen before, though obviously still a real concern for the police service and wider society
As terrorists seek to divide us, it is more important than ever that we continue to stand united in the face of hostility and hatred.
– Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton