Barrister tells of racial abuse on bus amid warnings pandemic is fuelling hatred


Her harrowing experience comes against a backdrop of rising hate crimes since lockdown was first imposed last year. 

Recent figures from the London Assembly showed the number of recorded hate crimes on London buses jumped from 43 in May last year to 115 in June. 

More widely across the capital, Scotland Yard was called to deal with more than 21,000 incidents of race-related hate crime between January 2020 and January 2021. 

There was a stark rise in offences throughout the year, with 1,227 hate crimes reported to police in April 2020, rising to 2,385 in June. 

Outside of London, Greater Manchester Police saw reported hate crime jump by one-third in June 2020 compared to the previous June. 

Tell MAMA, a group which supports and records anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK, said the pandemic had helped fan the flames of intolerance. 

A spokesman said: “The pandemic has led to a significant rise in online anti-Muslim hatred and racism, and we believe that people spending more time online and going down ‘rabbit holes’ of conspiracy web-sites and hate based material are fuelling some of this.

“Also, some people have insecure futures because of the pandemic and it is easy to blame ‘the other’. 

“This allied with material that has been falsely circulated about ‘Muslims congregating’ and thereby spreading the Coronavirus are all factors for the rise in online hatred.”

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