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Rediff.com  » News » Attacks on Muslims have soared in London after July 7 attacks

Attacks on Muslims have soared in London after July 7 attacks

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August 03, 2005 10:34 IST

Attacks on Muslims have soared in London since the July 7 bombings, British police has said.

There were 269 'religious hate' crimes, compared with 40 in the same period in 2004, new figures released showed.

"There is no doubt that incidents impacting on the Muslim community have increased," said Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur from London's Metropolitan Police on Tuesday.

The majority of incidents were minor assaults or low-level abuse, but they had a great 'emotional impact' on communities, he said.

"It can lead to these communities completely retreating and not engaging at a time when we want their engagement and support," he added.

The crimes include criminal damage to property including mosques, physical and verbal attacks.      

Scotland Yard said it had been so stretched by the bombings that work on major inquiries had 'slowed'.

Ghaffur said in the first three days after suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured 700 more, there were 68 'faith hate' crimes in London. During the same three days in 2004, there were none.

Ghaffur also revealed that the specialist unit dealing with serious and organised crime has lost 10% of its staff to the bombings inquiry.

Between 300 and 473 of Specialist Crime Directorate detectives have been seconded at any one time since July 7. As a result, Ghaffur said key leads would be followed up, but proactive work had 'slowed to a trickle' on major murder inquiries.

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