Back in June, London Assembly member Murad Qureshi submitted the following question to mayor Boris Johnson: “Since the brutal attack on Lee Rigby, has there been an increase in the number of Islamaphobic incidents in London and if so, what form have these attacks taken?” He was told that “officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly”.
In the absence of any such response, Qureshi was forced to table a further question for this month’s Mayor’s Question Time complaining at the failure to provide an answer and asking whether this indicated that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime “does not have a grip on the scale of attacks against Muslims in London” since the Woolwich murder.
Boris has finally come up with the answer to Qureshi’s question, which is now available on the Greater London Authority website.
Immediately after Lee Rigby’s murder, reports to the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] of Islamaphobic Hate Crime rose. From 22nd to the end of May, the average daily total was approx nine per day. In June the rate reduced to an average of just under four per day. In July (up to the 25th) the rate reduced still further to average fewer than two per day, and the trend continues downward.
77 per cent of these offences have been Violence against the Person, and three quarters of those have been Harassment. 21 per cent has been Criminal Damage.
This broadly confirms statements by senior police officers about the spike in Islamophobic crime that followed the murder of Lee Rigby, although the MOPAC figures indicate that the increase was slightly greater than previously thought – from one incident a day to nine (rather than eight).
It should be borne in mind that such crimes are notoriously under-reported, so the actual numbers are less significant than the proportional changes, which demonstrate the absurdity of claims that there was no significant backlash against the Muslim community after Woolwich.
Update: See Adam Bienkov, “Spike in Islamophobic attacks following Lee Rigby murder”, Politics.co.uk, 16 September 2013