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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Race incidents rise after attacks
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Police have dealt with a rise in race hate cases
There has been a significant increase in the number of racial incidents in Wales since the 7 July bombings in London, new police figures have shown.

The largest rise came in the North Wales Police area, where there were 64 reported cases from 7-28 July compared to 20 in the same period in 2004.

Gwent Police has dealt with 49 cases, up from 30 in 2004, and Dyfed-Powys has had 17 incidents (up from 12).

South Wales Police also said there had been an increase in cases in its area.

RACIAL INCIDENTS IN WALES
North Wales Police: 64 incidents (up from 20)
Gwent Police: 49 incidents (up from 30)
Dyfed-Powys Police: 17 incidents (up from 12)
South Wales Police: No figures but increase reported
Figures for 7/7/05 to 28/7/05 and for the same period in 2004

Members of the Muslim community in Wales have expressed worries that the attacks in London would see them targeted.

Last week, a rise in incidents of abuse was also recorded by the South East Wales Race Equality Council (Sewrec).

It said the rate of abuse had risen from 10 incidents a month to more than 30 in just two weeks, with most happening in Newport.

Last week in Cardiff, police investigated after animal parts were left at a mosque which was also targeted with a racist letter.

Members of Newport's ethnic minority community said they had suffered verbal abuse since the London attacks.

One man said: "The other night, I was walking through town and someone started calling me a bomber - a group of white boys.

"We're not bombers though, we're just normal people."

'Verbal abuse'

Chief Constable of Gwent, Mike Tonge said there had been a rise in tensions.

He added: "It's not really attacks, it's verbal abuse. But for the Muslim community particularly, this causes them to have fear.

"Since the 7 and 21 July, people have become very concerned and their stereotyping of the Muslim community has risen.

"That's understandable but we can't afford to tolerate it because ultimately the terrorists will win if we start to blame law-abiding people."

Naz Malik, from the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association, said he was not surprised at the figures.

He added: "This poses some huge challenges for the police authorities and us in the communities.

"It's reassuring that police are urging people to report even verbal abuse because if that can be tackled it will safeguard us from violent attacks.

"Not only could the police be doing more but we in the community could be doing more in coming out into the open and showing people the way of life of Muslims is...essentially no different to a Christian way of life."




SEE ALSO:
Race body reports rise in abuse
22 Jul 05 |  South East Wales
Shock at racist letter to mosque
18 Jul 05 |  South East Wales


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