The Far-right is exploiting concerns about the safety of women and children to target Muslims and ethnic minorities, an official report has found.
The Commission for Countering Extremism said: “Many protesters were not motivated by hate; they had concerns about their safety and the safety of those in the community. Far-right agitators exploited these local grievances. Members of the movement had links to banned group National Action. The shared belief of these figures and groups was their antipathy towards minorities, immigrants and particularly Muslims.”
As part of research into all forms of extremism across Britain, the commission examined a series of protests sparked after a woman claimed she was gang raped by Middle Eastern migrants in Sunderland. The original rape allegations were investigated by police but did not result in any charges, and the alleged victim withdrew her support from the campaign in her name in October 2017. Local councillors said a string of 13 marches in as many months “whipped up anti-minority feeling” and were linked to a series of hate crimes including a violent attack on Asian men, vandalism and racist graffiti in the area.
“The marchers said they aimed to improve the safety of women and children locally,” the report said. “However, their rhetoric targeted ethnic minorities, despite nearly 85 per cent of people convicted of sexual offences in 2018 in the Northumbria Police force area being white.”