UK
07/09/2015 08:12 BST | Updated 07/09/2015 09:59 BST

Islamophobic Crime In London Up 70% This Year And Women Wearing Veils Victims Of More 'Aggressive Incidents'

Hate crimes against Muslims in London has risen by 70% in the past year, police statistics reveal.

There were 816 crimes targeting Muslims in the 12 months to July 2015, compared to 478 in the same period last year, and nearly every London borough saw a significant increase in the hate crime.

Those incidents reported range from cyber-bullying and assaults to extreme violence.

woman in burka

Islamic women are reportedly targeted more than men

Merton, in south west London, had 29 incidents over the period, compared to eight in the previous 12 monts - an increase of 263%.

The borough with the highest number of incidents was Westminster, with 54 reported Islamophobic crimes.

The BBC reports that Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors attacks against Muslims, said that women were targeted more than men - with about 60% of victims being female

The Metropolitan Police figures do not break crimes down by gender.

The group told Inside Out London that women who wore a face veil were victims of more "aggressive incidents".

Fiyaz Mughal, director Tell MAMA, said: "We realised that at a street level Muslim women who were visible, and wore the Hijab or the headscarf, were suffering more targeted abuse.

"We also realised quite early on that women who wear Niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents - there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator," the BBC reports.

london boroughs

Map of London boroughs

Three London boroughs saw a decrease in Islamophobic attacks. Sutton, Harrow and Enfield had between 22% and 23% fewer attacks on Muslims in the past year compared to the previous 12 months.

Richmond saw an 800% increase in hate crimes against Muslims, increasing from 1 to 9 reported incidents.

Boroughs ranked in order of the largest increase in Islamophobic crimes:

Richmond - 800%

Havering - 300%

Waltham Forest - 270%

Merton - 262.5%

Kensington and Chelsea - 250%

Hillingdon - 233.3%

Islington - 175%

Barking and Dagenham - 162.5%

Lewisham - 160%

Bexley - 150%

Hackney - 137.5%

Lambeth - 135.3%

Southwark -123.1%

Kingston - 120%

Croydon - 107.7%

Barnet - 100%

Hammersmith and Fulham - 100%

Greenwich - 81.8%

Westminster - 74.2%

Newham - 63.2%

Hounslow - 60%

Haringey - 38.5%

Brent - 37.5%

Redbridge - 26.3%

Bromley - 15.4%

Ealing -14.3%

Camden - 5.9%

Tower Hamlets - 2.6%

Wandsworth - 0%

Sutton - -22.2%

Harrow - -22.7%

Enfield - -23.1%

Boroughs ranked in order of the highest number of Islamophobic crimes:

Westminster - 54

Islington - 44

Tower Hamlets - 40

Lambeth - 40

Hackney - 38

Waltham Forest - 37

Camden - 36

Brent - 33

Hounslow - 32

Newham - 31

Merton - 29

Southwark -29

Hammersmith and Fulham - 28

Kensington and Chelsea - 28

Croydon - 27

Lewisham - 26

Ealing - 24

Redbridge - 24

Barnet - 22

Barking and Dagenham - 21

Hillingdon - 20

Havering - 20

Greenwich - 20

Haringey - 18

Harrow -17

Wandsworth - 16

Bromley - 15

Kingston - 11

Enfield - 10

Richmond -9

Sutton - 7

Bexley - 5

The Press Association reports that Commander Mak Chishty said: "We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders.

"Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police.

"We have more than 900 specialist officers across London working in our community safety units who are dedicated to investigating hate crime," adding: "No one should suffer in silence, so please report hate crime to us as soon as possible so we can act."

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