The number of Islamophobic hate crimes reported in Dorset has more than doubled in just one year.

Statistics acquired from a Freedom of Information request to the Dorset Police show that 38 incidents of Islamophobic hate crimes were reported in Dorset across the 2017/18 period, an increase from 17 in the 2016/17 period.

The statistics also show that there has been a sharp overall increase in Islamophobia over the past few years.

4 incidents were reported in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 periods each, and 13 were reported in the 2015/16 period.

In a statement last year, Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “For years, Muslim communities have called for meaningful Government action against the rise in Islamophobia, yet this has been met by a tepid response at best.”

“No longer can the Government sit back and watch as the far-right rises, Islamophobia is mainstreamed and vulnerable Muslim communities are attacked.

“There has been little action against bullying of Muslim children, minimal funding for security for Muslim institutions (and only during specific periods) and no support to Muslim communities to encourage reporting of hate crime.

“And the list of inaction continues.”

National statistics show that this trend in increased hate crimes is not exclusive to Dorset.

Home Office data shows that religious hate crime levels rose by 40% over the 2017/18 period nationally, with more than half of these directed against Muslims.

The Dorset figures also line up with the national trend of a rise in hate crimes since the Brexit referendum vote in 2016.

Superintendent Jared Parkin, Dorset Police’s hate crime lead, said: “Dorset Police strongly condemns hate crime in all forms and is committed to working with our partners and communities to tackle incidents of this nature and ensure victims have confidence in reporting them to us.

“While it is difficult to say whether the rise in crimes recorded is a result of increased confidence in reporting or a genuine increase, it has been recognised that events abroad and elsewhere in the country can trigger prejudice against some of the different diverse communities living in Dorset.

“This is unacceptable and we are determined to support any victims and protect all communities and groups from the harm of hate and prejudice.

“As part of the Prejudice Free Dorset partnership we will continue to work to build the trust and confidence of victims to encourage more people to report these offences and ensure the correct support is in place for when they do.”

Superintendent Parkin also encourages people to report hate incidents as well as hate crimes.

“Even if an incident may not constitute a criminal offence it can be just as damaging to victims and often incidents can add up to represent a crime.

“It is a priority for us to ensure that victims of hate incidents or crimes are supported and that appropriate actions are taken.”

Victims of hate crimes or incidents can report it to Dorset Police online at and click on the ‘Report a hate crime’ button, or call 101.

In an emergency, call 999.