Alarm at rapid rise of hate crime in Britain

FINDINGS: Participants at the ELAYS event in Wandsworth
FINDINGS: Participants at the ELAYS event in Wandsworth

FAITH and community leaders have ex­pressed their concern over growing in­stances of hate crime at a conference in London earlier this month.

ELAYS, a local youth group in Wands­worth, hosted the discussion on Novem­ber 3 to address crimes and explore what can be done to protect communities.

Members of the local communities, a hate crime coordinator for Wandsworth and members from the group Tell MA­MA, which records anti-Muslim related incidents in the UK, attended the event.

Tell MAMA discussed their latest find­ings, which showed a 47 per cent rise in the number of street-based incidents in 2016. About 56 per cent of victims were reported to be female.

Abdirahman Xirsi, project manager at ELAYS, said hate crime can have a “de­bilitating” effect on victims and families, as well as the wider community.

“I have sadly seen too many instances of people within our local community having their lives disrupted by fear that they will be harassed on the street sim­ply for who they are,” he said.

“Working together with the police and authorities, communities can and must encourage people to report all such crimes – and send a clear signal that no one in this country should ever have to en­dure prejudice or hatred.”