'Significant' rise in religious hate crime in Greater Manchester since Hamas-Israel conflict

GMP says reports of Antisemitism and Islamophobia hate crimes have gone up since the start of the Hamas-Israel conflict Credit: ITV News

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) say they have seen a 'significant increase' in reports of Antisemitism and Islamophobia hate crime since the start of the Hamas-Israel conflict.

The latest figures, from the twelve months to the end of October demonstrate the majority of hate crimes recorded across Greater Manchester were religiously motivated, accounting for 935 out of the 10,637 hate crimes. This is an increase of 70 crimes or 8% on the previous 12 months.

In October, GMP recorded 105 religiously motivated hate crimes – an increase of 46 or 77% on the previous month.

Of those, 53 were Antisemitic – an increase of 46 or 657% on the previous month and significantly more than the 12-month average of 16.

28 were Islamophobic – an increase of 10 or 55% on the previous month but less than the 12-month average of 33.

Last week, a man was sentenced to twelve weeks' imprisonment for three religiously aggravated public order offences from an incident in October, where officers responded to reports a man was walking along Kings Road in Prestwich, entering shops and speaking to people whilst wearing the offensive bright blue t-shirt purposely worn to provoke a reaction from the Jewish community.

Greater Manchester Police are providing additional visible patrols to help to reassure communities and keep them safe.

The force says it believes the increase in reports is "in part because of our positive engagement with communities, improving confidence in people to report incidents."

A man was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for going into shops on Kings Road in Prestwich wearing an offensive T-shirt Credit: Google Street Maps

Superintendent Rachael Harrison said: "I have heard first-hand from people in our communities about the devastating impact of religiously motivated hate, particularly during these challenging times.

"We commend the bravery of individuals who have come forward to report hate incidents and emphasise the importance of continuous reporting.

“A lot of work has already been done to improve reporting, including widening accessibility to services for victims, victim support schemes, and encouraging more third-party reporting centres to enable people to report hate incidents without speaking directly to the police.”

“There is no place for hate in Greater Manchester.

"GMP is committed to taking positive action at every opportunity when we are alerted to crimes, particularly those which are inflammatory and fuelled by hate.

"While individuals have a right to freedom of expression, which includes peaceful protest, officers will not hesitate to intervene when public order is undermined through deliberate acts to demonstrate hostility to anyone's race or religion.

“If you have been a victim of a hate crime or have concerns, please approach officers directly or contact your neighbourhood team via ‘Your Area’ pages of our website – gmp.police.uk or 101. In an emergency, always dial 999."