Hate crime soared across Manchester in the wake of Lee Rigby’s horrific daylight slaying in the Woolwich terror attack, new figures reveal.
Figures obtained by MM reveal racially-motivated attacks shot up by 40% while religiously-motivated attacks rocketed by 51% across Greater Manchester between May 2013 and February 2014.
While figures then dropped to their lowest point for the year in February, they soared again in March – following the jailing of Rigby’s killers on February 26.
Racially-motivated attacks increased by 42% in Manchester while religiously-motivated attacks skyrocketed by a staggering 110%.
And now a ‘Greater Manchester says no to hate’ campaign has launched in reaction to the shocking statistics compiled by Teesside University.
The research, by Dr Matthew Feldman and Mark Littler of Teesside University, examined statistics from Tell MAMA, a public service that measures anti-Muslim attacks.
More than 700 self-reported incidents were recorded nationally between May 2013 and February 2014 of which over half came in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder, but that reported incidents have since been in decline.
In a joint statement, Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd and GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy condemned all forms of hate crime.
They said: “One of the greatest strengths of Greater Manchester is the fact so many people have come here from different countries, cultures and religions and have contributed so much to the life and prosperity of the area.
“One of our core values is tolerance and a ‘live and let live’ approach. We deplore actions intended to spread hatred towards any particular group on the basis of their personal characteristics and all forms of hate crime.
“People should be able to go about their lives and practise their religion and lifestyle without the threat of harassment or abuse. In particular we condemn attacks on places of worship and the recent desecration of graves which causes enormous hurt and offence.
“Free speech and love of liberty has always been a key feature of the history and culture of Greater Manchester but it is important that religions or communities are not stereotyped on the basis of the activities of extremists and that everyone strives for greater understanding between different groups so the divisions seen in other parts of the world are never a feature of life here.”
Of all the 4,309 hate crimes and incidents recorded between April 2013 and March 2014, racially motivated attacks made up 82% – with 3,534 incidents occurring in 11 months, equating to more than 10 a day.
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