۲۵ آذر ۱۳۹۸ |۱۹ ربیع‌الثانی ۱۴۴۱ | Dec 16, 2019
Sharp rise in hate crimes against Muslims after Brexit vote in Cheshire

Police figures reveal there were just nine Islamophobic offences in Cheshire in 2013, followed by five in 2014 and 14 in 2015.

Hawzah News Agency - (Cheshire - UK) - Hate crimes against Muslims have risen sharply across the county since the Brexit vote in 2016, The Standard has learnt.

Police figures reveal there were just nine Islamophobic offences in Cheshire in 2013, followed by five in 2014 and 14 in 2015.

But this rocketed to 30 in 2016 before increasing further to 67 in 2017 and dropping slightly to 49 in 2018. [The full statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, are included at the end of this article].

This newspaper shared the findings with Chester’s Labour MP Chris Matheson, who blamed the rise on a Brexit campaign that focused on immigration.

Mr Matheson – whose office was daubed in racist and homophobic graffiti in July - also believes US President Donald Trump has helped legitimise intolerance, giving a voice to racists globally.

"These figures speak for themselves and are stark and shocking,” he said. “Much of the pro-Brexit campaigning in the three years leading up to the vote was based on immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

"I believe the far-right have used the Brexit vote and the comments of the racist President Donald Trump as a way to open up the doors to the intolerance and hatred of the past. I won't ever give up on rooting out and defeating this kind of behaviour in our society.

"In Chester we have a relatively small Muslim community, but they play an active role in the life of the city and we must all stand together and defend them."

The Cheshire Stop The War Coalition, which promotes peace and tolerance, was similarly shocked by the figures.

Group chair Helen Rutherford-Gregory said: “The rise in Islamophobic hate crimes across Cheshire is very alarming. We’ve also seen homophobic, far right graffiti daubed on the walls of our MP’s office in the run up to Pride.“I think it’s wrong to completely attribute this to people’s feelings about the EU referendum but more accurate to look at the atmosphere in general that has been created not just by our leaders but by the President of America.

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