Racist and religious hate crimes in London hit their highest levels in a year following the Christchurch mosque shootings, police data has revealed.
There were 1,630 hate offences recorded by the Metropolitan Police in March.
Of these, 156 were Islamophobic – almost double the number recorded the previous month.
A monitoring group said the UK had seen an unprecedented spike in reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes since the attack in New Zealand.
Tell MAMA said the almost six-fold increase in reports to its monitoring service was a reaction to the shootings at two mosques on 15 March which left 50 people dead.
The Metropolitan Police has not yet commented on its figures.
Islamophobic hate crime spike
Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA, said: “You would think since the victims in the New Zealand attack were Muslims praying, there would not be members of this community targeted for further hate in the UK.
“Our figures corroborate police figures and show a latency of anti-Muslim prejudice that is sadly a part of our society now.”
‘There’s no compassion anymore’
On 8 March, Mohammed Dirir, 27, filmed a man jumping around and making monkey noises at him on a Northern Line Tube train.
Mr Dirir, who is from Holland but works in London, said a group of about six men and a woman laughed as two of their friends subjected him to abuse.
Mr Dirir said: “I had smiled at them but after a couple of seconds they were making monkey noises and monkey movements.
“I tried to ignore it but one of the guys gave me a thumbs up.
“He wanted to let me know I was being victimised.
“I was raised with love and respect, but there’s no compassion anymore in this world.”
British Transport Police (BTP) said a 24-year-old man from Wandsworth held on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence had been bailed pending further inquiries.
Racist and religious hate crimes at 12-month high in London
Islamophobic attacks in March included a man being hit over the head near a mosque in east London, and a woman said to have had her hijab ripped off by a fellow passenger at Turnpike Lane station in north London.