Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.


Attacks Pogroms in northern London. August 2011

Police in England and Wales reports in 2013/2014 about 44 480 hate crimes (5% more than in 2012/2013). Northern Ireland had a more dramatic increase in hate crime.

In the first eight months of 2014, 847 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported – two thirds of which occurred in July-August. In the first half of the year, 64% of anti-Semitic offences were committed by white people, but in the second half 50% were committed by Southern Asians, 12% by Arabs, 5% by Africans and only 34% were committed by white people.

These resulted in 3 dead and 46 injured. Most victims were in London (1 dead, 18 wounded), Colchester and Manchester (1 dead), Belfast and Glasgow (5 victims), Edinburgh and Ilkeston (3 victims), Bristol (2 wounded), Aysmut, Gateshead, Dundee, Lancashire, Leeds, Merinand, Chelmsford, Aylesbury (1 wounded). In terms of nationality of victims there were: 5 Asians, 6 Africans, 16 Jews, 3 immigrants from Eastern Europe, 2 Caribbeans, nationality of 16 victims cannot be accurately determined. Large number of Jewish victims (30%) is largely due to Israeli operation in Gaza.

Here are some of the most high-profile crimes of 2014:

On March 10, a sign was erected in the area of Dungannon saying “Attention landlords, leasing property to foreign nationals will not be tolerated”, the house of a foreign family was attacked with bricks and paint.

In May, several Polish families were attacked, damaged and vandalised. On May 10, 20 EDL members attacked a group of antifascists in Rotherham.

On June 21, Polish fascists of the Zjednoczeni Emigranci (ZE) group attacked a public music festival in Tottenham, in North London. The group of about forty men used stones and missiles. One Pole was injured. On June 26, it became known that a Muslim woman was killed in Colchester. She was a Saudi Arabia native and had come to Britain to study at the University of Essex.

On July 29, eight houses and several vehicles were stoned in East Belfast.

On August 16, police officers killed a black teenager Ryan Wilson. His parents found out about his death online.

In late November, member of the LGBT community Nazeem Mahmoud committed suicide after his mother asked him to find a “cure” for his “disease”.

On August 28, homes of two families from Sudan were attacked. Windows were smashed with stones in both houses.

Interestingly, victims in Northern Ireland were predominantly EU nationals. This could be due to the long civil war in the region and the resulting expanded definition of “aliens”.

There have also been cases of racist abuse. On May 11, it was reported that singer Kissy Crawford was racially abused in Laugharne. On May 29th, it became known that the only member of the British Parliament of Chinese origin, Anna Lo, who represented South Belfast in the regional parliament, has decided to retire from politics after the end of her term of office due to the constant stream of racist abuse. She even wanted to leave Northern Ireland and live in England, however, when she announced her decision, her voters expressed their solidarity and forced her to change her decision.

On May 4, a demonstration was held in front of a Kosher restaurant in London. In September, two men in London displayed Nazi greetings on the street. On September 19, a passenger on Bus 102, West Finchley (London), shouted anti-Semitic slogans. On September 28, another such “bus incident” occurred in Golders Green.

On August 16, protesters staged a riot at a Birmingham Tesco superstore. The crowd destroyed all kosher products. All offenders were arrested. On August 18, Sainsbury’s superstore in Holborn, London, removed all kosher food from the shelves, fearing a similar attack.

It has emerged that the far-right group “Britain First”, a splinter group of the BNP, has begun to carry out “Christian patrols” in the East London neighbourhoods of Whitechapel and Brick Lane, which are predominantly populated by BME communities.

On May 14, nationalists were distributing Islamophobic leaflets in Bradford. On May 20, a similar action was held in East London. Similar actions were also held in Glasgow and North Lancashire. On July 16, nationalists broke into a Southeast London mosque and demanded local imams remove separate entrances for men and women.

In 2015, the general rate of hate crime in England and Wale had grown by 18% compared to the previous year (52 528 in 2015, 44 471 in 2014). Racially-motivated hate crime (82% of total) had increased by 15%. Religious hate crime increased by 43% (3 254 in 2015l 2 269 in 2014). 6 202 cases of hate crime were related to LGBT community.

British statistics also include “racist incidents” which are widely defined as any incident, including any crime, that is regarded as racist by the victim or another person. The number of these incidents had also increased by 10%.

Number of violent hate crime incidents had increased, despite official statistics stating that it has been at around 30% in the past view years. However the number of such crimes, according to official data itself, has increased from 13 344 to 15 758 in 2015.

Northern Irish Police Service does not have such definition of hate crime, but it did publish figures that showed a reduction in hate crime by 4.9% (2 281 in 2014 to 2 169 in 2015). As of 2016, Scottish Police Service has not released any information regarding hate crime.

The number of attacks caused by anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism is still high. The Community Security Trust (CST) stated that in 2013 the number of crimes caused by anti-Semitism decreased to 529 cases , as opposed to 640 cases in 2012, which shows a decline of 17.3%. A further 22% decline was noted in 2015.

The organisation “Tell MAMA” has been monitoring cases of attacks on Muslims. This organisation is partially funded by the UK government. The main target of “Tell MAMA” is to detect any anti-Islamic incidents and report them to the police. A significant amount of effort is also put into identifying and preventing displays of hate on the internet. The community also acts as a guide and advisor for the younger organizations, allowing them to utilize its vast knowledge and experience. The organisation identified 548 anti-Muslim incidents (584 in 2014); most of which were committed online.

In general, there have not been any major clashes based on religious or ethnic enmity. The only exception, perhaps, were the several minor incidents in 2015, during a crisis in Gaza region, where members of the Jewish community have been attacked due to events in Palestine. There have been a few attacks by Sikhs on Muslims, including a special Facebook page being created by Sikhs for that purpose.

In general, in recent years there have been no major clashes on interethnic or religious grounds in the UK. Exceptions are, perhaps, the attacks on the basis of anti-Semitism during the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2015, there was at least one such attack, when several Muslim teenagers attacked a religious Jew in the northeast of England. They attacked the man and chased him down the street until he was saved by his friend. Members of the gang stated that “the attack was a protest over the conflict in Palestine.”

Another form of intercommunal clashes are the attacks on Muslims committed by Sikhs. In 2015, several such cases were recorded, including the use of a profile specifically created for these purposes by several Sikhs on Facebook.

Home Office figures released in October 2016 in a report titled Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2015/16, suggested the relationship between Brexit and hate crimes. In broader terms, the report stated that in “2015/16, there were 62,518 offences recorded by the police in which one or more hate crime strands were deemed to be a motivating factor. This was an increase of 19 per cent compared with the 52,4651 hate crimes recorded in 2014/15.” Specifically the report revealed that, of the hate crimes recorded in the 2015/2016 period, there had been:

  • 49,419 (79% of total) race hate crimes (representing a 15% increase on the 42,862 crimes committed in the 2014/2015 period).
  • 7,194 (12%) sexual orientation hate crimes (representing a 29% increase on the 5,591 crimes committed in the 2014/2015 period).
  • 4,400 (7%) religious and faith-based hate crimes (representing a 34% increase on the 3,293 crimes committed in the 2014/2015 period).
  • 3,629 (6%) disability hate crimes (representing a 44% increase on the 2,515 crimes committed in the 2014/2015 period).
  • 858 (1%) transgender hate crimes (representing a 41% increase on the 607 crimes committed in the 2014/2015 period).
(It is necessary to note that it “is possible for a hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor which is why the above numbers sum to more than 62,518 and 100 per cent.”)

On 17 May 2017 the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) published their quarterly statistics of reported hate crimes, including the period from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 ending 31 March 2017 giving the fullest picture of the whole of 2016 and changes in trends from the previous year. It should be noted that all of the data in this report are placed into the time periods of March 2015 to April 2016 and March 2016 to April 2017 for the purposes of comparison. In their reporting of these statistics, the PSNI differentiates between “crimes” and “incidents”.

“A crime will be recorded as having a hate motivation where it meets the relevant definition provided above. Not all hate motivated incidents will result in the recording of a crime, as what has occurred in the incident may not be of the level of severity that would result in a notifiable offence being recorded.” The PSNI found that both racist incidents and crimes decreased between 2015/16 and 2016/17; “racist incidents decreased by 167 from 1,221 to 1,054 and racist crimes decreased by 193 from 853 to 660.”

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service, Scotland's Prosecution Service, also released a report on ‘Hate Crime in Scotland 2015-16’. This report stated that there “were 3,712 charges reported in 2015-16, but this is the lowest number reported since 2003- 04”. Specifically, it stated that in “total 3,712 charges relating to race crime were reported in 2015-16, a decrease of 3% compared to 2014-15. This is 18% lower than the peak in such charges in 2011-12, and is the lowest annual figure since 2003-04 when 3,322 charges were reported.”

On 4 August, 2016 the Jewish community organisation the Community Security Trust (CST) released a report indicating that anti-semitic incidents had risen by 11% in the first six months of 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015. The 557 cases recorded was the second-highest number ever for the January-June period, although worryingly the CST could see ‘no obvious trigger for the increase’ unlike two years previously when “the war in Gaza led to a big rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK.” Although they did note that there were more anti-Semitic attacks between April and June when the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled at the Labour Party gained wide coverage, while also noting that “[r]acism and xenophobia were part of the campaign discourse in run-up to the EU referendum on 23 June.”

The most common type of incident recorded involved verbal abuse of Jews in public. Other types of antisemitism included graffiti, abuse via social media, threats, damage and desecration of Jewish property and leaflets. There were 41 violent antisemitic assaults among the 557 incidents, a 13% drop on the comparative 2015 period. More than three-quarters of the incidents were recorded in London and Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK. In London there was a 62% increase in incidents, whereas Manchester there was a 54% fall.

On 22 August, 2016, due to a Freedom of Information request to the British Government, it was revealed that in the two weeks after the referendum to leave the European Union the British Transport police recorded 119 suspected race hate incidents in a fortnight, an increase of 57% on the previous two weeks and an increase of 78% on the equivalent period in 2015.

During the March-June period in 2017, Britain saw a large rise in racially and religious motivated hate crime – owing to the contemporaneous Manchester and London terror attacks. In the 2016/17 reporting period, the UK saw a 29% increase in hate crimes, representing the largest total amount for one year since records began in 2011/12. Looking more deeply into the statistics, the UK Home Office reported a 27% and 35% rise in racially and religiously motivated hate crimes, respectively. Importantly, the largest increase for the 2016/17 period was disablist (53%) and transgender (43%) hate crime offences. This was attributed to better awareness amongst both subjects and the police in reporting mechanisms and confidence in coming forward when such incidents happen. Racially motivated hate crime was still, however, by far the leading category reported in the year after the 2016 Brexit referendum and 2017 terror attacks – with 62,685 offences recorded between March 2016 and March 2017. The largest spike in hate crime occurred immediately after the former event – with just over 5,500 offences recorded in July 2016. Moreover, a Freedom of Information request found that UK hate crime targeting Mosques had almost doubled during the reporting period – with 110 acts of racist abuse, acts of vandalism and bomb threats occurring mainly in areas affected by the 2017 terror attacks.

Looking beyond officially reported statistics, hate crime reported to third party recording agencies also saw an appreciable uptick in anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-Muslim hate crime in the period under consideration. The Community Security Trust (CST), a body specifically set up to protect the UK Jewish community in 1994, reported that it had also recorded its highest annual total of anti-Semitic incidents in 2017. In particular, the CST found a 34% increase in anti-Semitic assaults, with three quarters of total anti-Semitic incidents taking place in Greater Manchester and Greater London. Causal factor for an increase in incidents could not be identified with certainty by the CST. However, a report on 2017 figures suggested that it might have resulted from an increased police presence after the Manchester and London terror attacks, as well as ongoing controversies to do with anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party.

Other third party organisations also highlighted the rise of homophobic hate crime during the period under review. In September 2017, the gay rights charity, Stonewall, commissioned a survey to investigate experiences of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic hate crimes, as well as day-to-day discrimination. Conducting a YouGov poll of 5,000 adults in the UK, Stonewall found one in five (21%) LGBT people had experienced hate crime in the year 2016/2017. It also found that two in five Transgender people had experienced hate crime because of their gender identity, and that one in six Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people had also experienced hate crime. Moreover, under-reporting to the authorities was a key feature of LGBT people’s experience, with fully four out of five who experienced such incidents not reporting them to the police. Finally, roughly a third of those polled found that they avoided certain streets or holding their partner’s hand on security grounds. The authors of the report suggested that a 78% increase in hate crime from 2013 was the result of greater awareness and better reporting practices, but also a ‘genuine increase’ over the reporting period; key sources of discrimination included leisure venues, the rental market and religious organizations.

The U.K. Home Office reported that racially motivated hate crimes were the largest component of offenses (76% in 2017-2018, 76% in 2018-2019, and 72% in 2019-2020). Importantly, the largest increases in hate crimes during the reporting period tended to be sexual orientation (27% in 2017/2018, 25% in 2018/2019, and 19% in 2019/2020), transgender identity (32% in 2017/2018, 37% in 2018/2019, and 16% in 2019/2020), and disability (30% in 2017/2018, 14% in 2018/2019, and 9% in 2019/2020). This can be attributed to a greater awareness of both subjects and police of the reporting mechanisms and confidence in how they would act in the event of such incidents.

The Brexit referendum in 2016 and the Islamist terrorist attacks in the UK in 2017 had an impact, with 62,685 and 71,251 hate crimes reported since March 2016. The biggest spike occurred in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 terror attacks. - July 2016 and June 2017 saw just over 5,500 and 6,000 offenses. The following summer months saw spikes, most significantly in June and July 2020 following the Black Lives Matters protests and counter-protests by far-right groups in England and Wales following the May 25 death of George Floyd in the United States.

In addition to the officially reported statistics, the period under review saw a marked increase in hate crimes reported by outside nongovernmental agencies. The Community Security Trust (CST), a body specifically created to protect the British Jewish community in 1994, reported that it also recorded its second-highest annual rate of anti-Semitic incidents in January-June 2018. Specifically, CST recorded 122 anti-Semitic attacks and 78 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property. In particular, anti-Semitic attacks on social media, as well as through anti-Semitic literature produced en masse or sent via email, were the biggest increases.

The CST was unable to identify with certainty any one factor that had contributed to the increase in crime. Nevertheless, the 2018 data report suggests that one such factor may have been the ongoing controversy over anti-Semitism in the U.K. Labor Party. In 2019, the CST recorded the highest number of incidents on record since 2018 - with a slight drop in 2020 - all again consistent with the discourse about Jews and anti-Semitism in the news concerning the U.K. Labor Party.

In March 2019, gay rights charity Stonewall reacted to the publication of Home Office statistics that showed a 37% increase in transphobic hate crimes and a 25% increase in homophobic and biphobic crimes. Laura Russell, then Stonewall's director of campaigns, policy and research, called the surge "disturbing," demonstrating that "lesbian, gay, bi and trans people [in Britain] still face hate simply because of who they are."

Analyzing religious hate crimes, there have been several reports from outside agencies reporting an increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2018 and 2019. In September 2019, the NGO Tell MAMA released independently verified data from 2018 (n = 1,072). They found that while offensive behavior (54% of total offline incidents), threatening behavior (5% of total offline incidents), and assaults (13% of total offline incidents) decreased from the previous year, the levels and proportions of discrimination (n = 72 in 2017, n = 87 in 2018), hate speech (n = 11 in 2017, n = 18 in 2018), and anti-Muslim literature (n = 28 in 2017, n = 58 in 2018) increased in 2018.

Street forms of crime accounted for the largest percentage of offline incidents (54%), with a particular focus (57%) on female members of the UK Muslim community. Moreover, continuing this gender theme, 73% of offenders were identified as white males. This was recorded in a variety of crimes involving terrorism, pedophilia, hatred of foreigners, and offensive / derogatory remarks about Islam made during such hate crimes. Incidentally, the number of anti-Muslim incidents online actually decreased (by 10%) in 2018. The report also noted a 375% increase in anti-Muslim attacks after then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called Muslim women wearing veils "mailboxes" and "bank robbers," with references to Johnson's popular discourse and comments that dominate the reported hate incidents.

This is consistent with UK police time-of-attack data, which showed a 350% increase in the number of reported offline Muslim hate crimes (n = 70 vs. n = 245). The Tell MAMA data showed that 74 of 374 confirmed offline incidents during the reporting period had a direct link to the attacks in Christchurch.

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