Creating new perspectives since 2009

Police report 'significant increase' in hate crimes across London

October 20, 2023 at 6:53 pm

People carry Palestinian flags and banners as they stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians in London, United Kingdom on October 14, 2023 [Burak Bir/Anadolu Agency]

Amid rising escalation in the Middle East, police said, Friday, that there is a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic offences across the British capital, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, Metropolitan Police stated that officers have been working closely with representatives from London’s Jewish and Muslim communities since the attacks in Israel on 7 October.

It noted that, despite the increased presence of officers – visiting 445 schools and 1,930 places of worship – Metropolitan Police records “a significant increase” in hate crime across London, including abuse, and racially or religiously motivated criminal damage.

“Between 1 October and 18 October, we saw 218 anti-Semitic offences compared to 15 in the same period last year. Similarly, we saw an increase in Islamophobic offences from 42 to 101,” said the statement, meaning a 1,353 per cent and 140 per cent increase, respectively.

Police, so far, have made 21 arrests for hate crime offences, it added.

READ: UK Labour Party shaken by string of resignations over stance on Gaza

Meanwhile, the statement also recalled the upcoming pro-Palestine demonstration in central London that will be organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Saturday, saying more than 1,000 officers will be deployed to the event.

It noted that anyone wearing, carrying or otherwise displaying symbols that are supportive of a banned organisation can be arrested.

“It is important to remember that, while supporting the Palestinian cause or criticising Israel is not, in itself, unlawful, any support for a proscribed organisation such as Hamas or Hezbollah is unlawful.”

The same is true for chanting or slogans, it added.

Hamas and Hezbollah are among 79 terrorist organisations that are banned in the UK, including Daesh/ISIS, Wagner Group and the PKK.

Last Saturday, more than 150,000 people took part in a demonstration in the capital to show solidarity with Palestinians. Police, later said that 15 people were arrested for a variety of offences during the protest.

READ: UK PM vows to stand by Israel: ‘We want you to win’