Hate crimes towards the Muslim community in Bournemouth have nearly doubled since last year, and the public has been labelled “uniformed” about Muslims.
The statistics, released by Dorset Police, show how hate crimes against members of the Islamic community have occurred more frequently than in previous years. This nearly doubles the amount recorded last year.
Figures were released from the Police after a Freedom of Information request from a member of the public. It shows a total of 27 Islamic hate crimes recorded in 2017, a significant increase from the 15 offences identified by the force in 2016.
The worst-hit week was in May 2017, whereby 4 separate Islamic hate crimes took place in the area. The hate crimes started on 22nd May, the same date of the Manchester concert bombing, where 22 people died.
Nathalie Sherring, Community Development Officer for the Dorset Race and Equality Council, thinks the rise in this hate crime is due to uninformed opinion:
“I would attribute the rise of Islamic Hate Crime to the media who tend to associate Islam with extremism. Extremism has no place in the religion.
Uninformed people will tend to correlate terrorist incidents with the Muslim population at large, which is totally wrong.”
She thinks something can be done to reduce these crimes.
“People can be educated, to find out about the information they’re receiving and its accuracy. We need to spread and publish all the positive contribution that Muslim people do to our county and country.
We need to have a zero tolerance on hate speech.”
Offences were prominent from March onwards, following the timing of the first UK terror attack of 2017 outside Westminster.
The most recent hate crime statistics for Bournemouth, recorded from January-October show how 208 hate crimes were committed, amongst the growing increase of hate crimes in the Bournemouth area in recent years.
Hate crimes have become more common year on year, totalling 885 occurrences since October 2012.
In 2016, the same crimes had more than tripled since 2012, with 275 incidents in a single year.