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Hate crimes surge 500% in Manchester after bombing

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A woman walks past a poster displaying a message of defiance to the terror attack of May 22 at the Manchester Arena, in Manchester, northwest England on May 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Police figures show that Islamophobic hate crimes in the British city of Manchester have soared by more than 500 percent following the terrorist attack that claimed 22 lives there.

The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) revealed a 505-percent rise in Islamophobic incidents in the northwestern city, with a total of 224 cases of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in the month after the May 22 bombing attack, compared with 37 in the same period in 2016.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said hate crime reports in Manchester had returned in recent days to similar levels as before the attack but warned that the true number of incidents could be even higher due to under-reporting.

“Greater Manchester has a diverse population, with people from different faiths and backgrounds, and this is something that we are proud of. It’s what makes us the city we are. We will not tolerate hatred or discrimination of any kind,” he said.

“When a major tragedy occurs such as the attacks in Manchester and London, it is sadly not unusual for there to be a spike in the amount of hate crimes, specifically against race and religion, but thankfully they do decrease again quickly,” Potts noted.

People gather to see flowers and messages of support in Saint Ann's Square in Manchester, northwest England on May 31, 2017, placed in tribute to the victims of the May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena. (Photo by AFP)

Other types of hate crime also increased with a 61-percent rise in race-related crimes and incidents, a 41-percent growth in those targeted at disabled people, and a 9-percent rise related to sexual orientation, according to police figures.

“We continue to monitor the levels of hate crimes that are reported and it is essential that we remind people about the importance of reporting when a hate crime happens to you, or you see it happening,” Potts continued.

“Hate crime is often under-reported for a number of reasons, but we want people to have the confidence in coming forward as no one should be the subject of hate and intolerance.”

At least 22 people lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries when 22-year-old Salman Abedi allegedly detonated his explosives at a concert hall in Manchester last month.

A man leaves flowers beside the police cordon, close to the scene of a van attack in Finsbury Park, north London on June 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Last week, a 48-year-old male driver rammed his vehicle into worshipers coming out of a mosque in the Finsbury Park area of north London, leaving at least one person dead and ten others injured, in an attack described by Britain's largest Muslim organization as a "violent manifestation of Islamophobia."

Police officials recently announced that terrorist alert has been set at "severe" in Britain, meaning any attack is highly likely.

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