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Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Hate crime still rife in Islington North – but we can beat it’

PUBLISHED: 12:06 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 20 October 2017

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn signs the hate crime pledge at Finsbury Park Mosque. Picture: Polly Hancock

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn signs the hate crime pledge at Finsbury Park Mosque. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has admitted hate crime towards women still blights his constituency – but he is confident more victims will start to come forward.

Jeremy Corbyn pauses for photographs after the Finsbury Park Mosque meeting. Picture: Polly HancockJeremy Corbyn pauses for photographs after the Finsbury Park Mosque meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock

Speaking to the Gazette after the anti-hate crime meeting at Finsbury Park Mosque last night, the Labour leader recalled a similar meeting he chaired at the mosque in March last year.

Then, he heard from Muslim women who said they had been persecuted on public transport, and another whose daughter felt like she had to “explain herself” at an Islington school in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks.

He said: “I remember that meeting very well. It’s obviously sad when a crime comes around and around.

“But I think tonight’s meeting at the mosque, we saw a lot of people here. We went through some individuals’ horror stories of what’s happened to them. We got a very clear statement from the council of what it’s doing. We also got what I thought to be a very realistic statement from the police.

Women shared their experiences of hate crime at the Finsbury Park Mosque meeting. Picture: Polly HancockWomen shared their experiences of hate crime at the Finsbury Park Mosque meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock

“Their plea was that if we are to deal with racist attacks and Islamophobia, they must be reported so they can collect the evidence and put it to the Crown Prosecution Service and get the prosecution. If people don’t report it and there’s no evidence, then clearly the prosecution won’t happen.

“But at the end of the meeting, Cllr Andy Hull said something very encouraging. That after the attack on Finsbury Park there were a number of abusive letters sent to the mosque and Muslim Welfare House: all reported to the police.

“And one case of abuse on the street against a woman was reported to the police. After a lot of very diligent police work they tracked down a suspect and that case is now going to court, so well done.”

Mr Corbyn was among the community leaders – including colleagues on Islington Council, police officers and Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar – who signed a “pledge” to tackle hate crime in the borough. It was part of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

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