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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Hate crime up 40% since bombings
Mosque
Muslim groups have urged police and politicians to visit mosques
Hate crime in the Thames Valley has risen by 40% since the 7 July bombings in London, according to police.

Police said 146 racially-motivated crimes were reported to them between 7 July and 1 August, against 105 in the same period last year.

The force is warning of a further rise in August, because of school holidays, warmer weather and increased drinking.

Muslim groups said the reported figure was the "tip of the iceberg" and said there was fear within the community.

Thames Valley Police have pledged to step up patrols of beat officers and community support officers in vulnerable areas.

The force said the rate of hate crime was still low and that the detection rate had risen to 34% compared to 16% last year.

The Muslim community are now being targeted by the far right in our own country
Inayat Bunglawala, Muslim Council of Britain

Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, told the BBC News website: "The Muslim community see themselves not just as targeted by the terrorists, but they are now being targeted by the far right in our own country.

"There is a sense of fear in the community."

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission said: "This figure is the tip of the iceberg - our own nationwide figures have risen much more. What is really worrying is that the overwhelming majority are not being reported to the police."

Incidents reported to the commission have risen from an average of six or seven a week before 7 July to nearly 100 a week, he said.

They include Muslim people being verbally abused, spat at, asked to leave buses and taxis, having headscarves pulled off and being physically attacked.

Mr Shadjareh called on politicians as well as police to visit mosques and denounce attacks.

He added: "We've got to have zero tolerance. This needs to be tackled vigorously."

A Thames Valley Police statement said: "We believe no members of our community should suffer because of the actions of terrorists and no one should use these attacks as an excuse to divide our communities or to threaten and harm individuals.

"Our officers will deal robustly with any incidents of hate crime and we urge the community to report any such incidents to us."




SEE ALSO:
Racist gang attack two Asian men
02 Aug 05 |  Scotland
Shock at racist letter to mosque
18 Jul 05 |  South East Wales


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