Hate crime reports jumped sharply as Britain was hit by a spate of terrorist attacks this year, figures show.
Police registered increases in such incidents in the days immediately after the atrocities at Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge. Alleged race or faith hate offences accounted for the vast majority of rises, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
Figures compiled from forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed the daily totals two days after the Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge attacks were well above typical levels, with 234, 273 and 319 hate crime incidents respectively.
The NPCC said this pattern was not seen after the Finsbury Park attack in June, with 223 incidents. Figures for the weeks including the attacks show hate crime was up compared to the previous year for all but Finsbury Park.
The sharpest increase was observed after the Manchester bombing, when the weekly tally was 50% higher than the same period in 2016.
The NPCC lead for hate crime, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, said: “We know that terrorist attacks and other national and global events have the potential to trigger short-term spikes in hate crime and so we have been carefully monitoring community tensions following recent horrific events.
“Reporting from police forces show that levels of hate crime peaked in the wake of the attacks but quickly subsided within a few days. This is in line with trends we have seen before, though obviously still a real concern for the police service and wider society.
“As terrorists seek to divide us, it is more important than ever that we continue to stand united in the face of hostility and hatred.”