Hate figures: More than 2,500 racist attacks in West Midlands as figures rise

There were more than 2,500 racist attacks in the West Midlands last year.

Hate figures: More than 2,500 racist attacks in West Midlands as figures rise

The total was the highest since 2009 and up by almost 1,000 in the space of two years.

The statistics, released by West Midlands Police, show there were 2,508 hate crimes involving racism reported in the region.

Sandwell saw more incidents than anywhere else in the Black Country in 2014 with 276.

Almost 10 per cent of the crimes - 240 - took place in Wolverhampton. There were 169 reports in Dudley and 228 in Walsall.

The figures show a sharp rise in racist attacks since 2012, when 1,677 were reported in the West Midlands.

That rose to 2,084 in 2013 and jumped again last year.

Already this year, there has been 1,573 incidents reported to the police - almost as many as the whole of 2012.

Every part of the Black Country saw an increase in reported incidents.

It comes just weeks after an attack on Wolverhampton's Bait-ul-Ata Mosque on Willenhall Road in which windows were smashed and hundreds of pounds of damage caused. CCTV footage has been released in connection with the incident, which police are treating as a hate crime.

Zafar Islam is a councillor in Dudley, where far-right groups have descended three times already this year over controversial plans for a new mosque.

He believes the rise of so-called Islamic State and other events globally may have contributed to events on the streets of the Black Country.

But he insisted the majority of people appreciate the multicultural society in which they live.

He said: "We hear so much talk about terrorism and international events, the issue about ISIS, and press reports of grooming being attributed to one particular community, but when individuals hear these things sometimes they don't have the full picture and some people unfortunately react. The victims are often innocent and have no control.

"Over many years the relationship on the whole has been very positive and enjoyable."

He said people of all backgrounds had a responsibility to educate people.

"It is not just the police's job, it is everybody who is in a position to influence opinion and help people come together.

"As long as these people want to do something wrong, that is the police's role but we should be bringing communities together to understand.

"We have a duty to educate about multicultural society which most of us live without any problem."

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