British Prime Minister David Cameron has honored a campaign promise by requiring police nationwide to record anti-Muslim hate crimes. Current records are spotty. Some police forces, including London's Scotland Yard, do record anti-Muslim crimes, but others do not.
Explaining the move, the government said:
[C]reating a separate category across the board would "enable police, prosecutors, councils and the communities they serve to have a better understanding of the prevalence of anti-Muslim hate crime and allocate resources accordingly."
If the national statistics are consistent with those of London, they will likely show that anti-Muslim hate crimes spike after Islamist violence like the murder of Lee Rigby, but that even so, the rate of anti-Muslim crime is far lower than that against another religious group, namely, Jews. During the twelve-month period ending June 30, 2015, there were 816 anti-Muslim crimes, or one hate-crime incident for every 1,241 Muslims, and 499 anti-Jewish hate crimes, one for every 299 Jews in London.
It would also be useful to see who is perpetrating the hate crimes. Reports (e.g., here and here) about the new policy indicate only that police are required to record crimes against Muslims as victims, as they already report statistic for anti-Jewish crimes, but not the identity of the criminals.
As IW previously observed, it would indeed be welcome if the British government were to allocate anti-hate-crime resources commensurate with the proportional scope of the problem.
Johanna Markind is associate counselor at the Middle East Forum