FEARS OVER RISE OF WIRRAL HATE CRIME; Homophobic and Race Abuse Reports Increase

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Byline: JOE THOMAS @joe_thomas18

HATE crime is on the rise across Wirral, with police recording an increase in reports of racial, homophobic and disability abuse.

In the past three years more than 600 hate crimes have been reported to police across the borough, the ECHO can reveal.

Last year 225 victims of abuse came forward - a 23% rise from 2010-11.

Of the 616 hate crimes reported in Wirral between 2010 and 2013 the majority were racially or religiously motivated.

A total of 449 featured elements of racism or religious hatred, with victims subjected to harassment, criminal damage and assault.

Many of those targeted are from Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds while people of Chinese, Caribbean and Polish ethnicity were also targeted.

Kazi Ahmed, a spokesman for Wirral Islamic Cultural Centre and Shah Jalal Mosque, based on Whetstone Lane in Birkenhead, described hate crime as a "cancer."

He said: "When one person sees that somebody else is doing better than him, that creates jealousy, this jealousy creates hate.

Mr Ahmed added: "When a person hates someone because of jealousy, he can do anything to harm him."

While Mr Ahmed said he was aware of hate crime cases, he praised people in the area for supporting the mosque and said the Islamic community had integrated well in Birkenhead.

WORK Cllr Jones He added: "Now Birkenhead mosque is well known to all the schools in Wirral, through the schoolchildren visiting the mosque. …