The Crown Prosecution Service says it dealt with 20% more racially-motivated crimes in the year up to 1 April 2002 then in the previous year.
While it is not clear whether or not this rise was because of an increase in attacks or an increase in willingness to report, groups working with refugees and asylum seekers say they are picking up anecdotal rises in attacks particularly against these groups.
Here is a summary of some incidents that have come to media attention. This list is not intended to be exhaustive as no single organisation is compiling figures.
Asylum seeker deaths following attacks
Mohammed Isa Hasan Ali, 22, Afghanistan. Mr Hasan Ali died on 10 February 2003 after being attacked in Southampton city centre. Mr Hasan Ali arrived in the UK after losing an eye and suffering permanent back scarring from being tortured by the Taleban. A man has been charged with manslaughter.
Peyman Bahmani, 30, Iran. Stabbed to death in a racially motivated attack in Sunderland, August 2002, He intervened when friends were set upon by a man carrying a knife.
Firsat Dag, 22, Kurd. Killed on 5 August 2001, Sighthill, Glasgow. The attack upon the asylum seeker was the first to come to national prominence and led to a rethink of asylum settlement in the city. An allegation that the murder was racially motivated was dropped at the trial.
Fetah Marku, 24, Kovoso. Mr Marku died after he was stabbed 29 times in an attack outside of a pub in Edgware, north London, in March 2001. Police said they had an open mind as to whether the attack was racially motivated.
21 July 2003: A 31-year-old Iraqi man is followed through Hull by a number of cars. One of them mounts the payment and rams him, throwing the man into the air. Police are treating the attack as racially motivated.
3 May 2003: Abdul Naiyazi, 25, of Afghanistan, is attacked by men while at work as a petrol station attendant in Bradford.
6 June 2003: Up to 10 asylum seekers housed in Southampton flee after their home catches fire in the middle of the night. Campaigners claim the fire was set deliberately by racists.
9 May 2003: Four Iranian men are attacked, two of them stabbed, while travelling on Newcastle upon Tyne's Metro train system.
9 May 2003: Two Iraqi Kurds are attacked by men in an underpass in Plymouth. The assailants reportedly accused the Kurds of being "f - ing Turks" before attacking them with a skewer and belt buckle.
31 March 2003: A 32-year-old Afghan man is beaten by a gang of 10 in Glasgow after their first throw a brick at his car.
25 April 2003: Norman Ngwenya, 35, of Zimbabwe, is attacked in a Portsmouth street by two men in what police say was a racist attack.
15 March 2003: A family of Afghan asylum seekers in Burslem, Staffordshire, are targeted when pieces of concrete are thrown through the windows of their home. It was the second such attack in six months.
5 February 2003: Two asylum seeking brothers housed in Middlesbrough confront a group of youths throwing snowballs at their home. The youths reportedly attack the two men, leaving them with injuries requiring hospital treatment.
20 January 2003: Three Iraqi Kurds are attacked in Plymouth by a group of up to 12 men. Local refugee workers say there has been a massive rise in racism in Devon and Cornwall as asylum seekers are dispersed to the South-West.
Sources for reports (other than the BBC) are local newspaper police reports, police statements, the Institute of Race Relations and various refugee-related organisations.