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Priti Patel: Rise in hate crime in UK a ‘good thing’

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel [John Martin/Facebook]
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel [John Martin/Facebook]

The British Home Secretary has said that the surge of hate crimes in the UK is “a good thing” in that it indicates that police are working harder to record offences, reports the Independent.

Rather than acknowledging fears over the surge, when asked by members of parliament what was being done to tackle the record high rise in crimes she replied: “When we look at the numbers, it’s clear there’s more work that’s taking place in terms of police recording hate crime.”

“That’s a good thing and that’s why the numbers are high.”

The Home Office has recently announced a ten per cent increase in hate crime across England and Wales in the past year.

Of the almost 103,400 offences recorded in 2018-2019 three quarters were racially motivated – a total of 79,000 offences, a rise of 11 per cent.

Religious hate crime increased by three per cent to 8,566 incidents, with almost half targeting Muslims and 18 per cent targeting Jewish people.

There was a spike in racial and religious hate crimes in May, June and July 2018 when Tommy Robinson was imprisoned and when Donald Trump visited the UK.

They also surged in March when a white supremacist attacked two mosques in New Zealand.

READ: 60 UK children trapped in north-east Syria after fleeing Daesh

The government has long been criticised for fueling hate crime with anti-migrant and anti-Muslim claims.

Earlier this month Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid warned against using the term Islamophobia because it had a capacity to shut down legitimate criticism of religion.

In the context of Javid’s decision to strip Daesh bride Shamima Begum of her British citizenship, rights group End Violence Against Women said that some politicians had fed the rhetoric of racist, dehumanising rhetoric which has “contributed to the broader climate of Islamophobia, racism and intolerance in the UK.”

In June Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi asked Boris Johnson to apologise for comparing Muslim women to letterboxes in what he described as a racist attack.

Dhesi’s comments came shortly after the hate crime monitoring organisation Tell MAMA announced there was a 375 per cent rise in Islamophobic attacks the week after Johnson wrote a column for the Telegraph comparing Muslim women to letterboxes and bank robbers.

Dhesi accused the prime minister of conducting a “sham and white whitewash” investigation and dragging his heels over an inquiry into Islamophobia.

Last year Former Conservative Chair Baroness Sayeeda Warsi warned that Islamophobia goes “right to the top” of the party but that it is ignored for electoral reasons.

READ: The cases of Shamima Begum and Rahaf Mohammed tell us a lot about how we define victimhood

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