Spike in Islamophobic attacks following Lee Rigby murder

There was a significant spike in assaults against Muslims in London following the death of Lee Rigby, new figures have revealed.

There was an average of nine alleged Islamophobic incidents a day in the week following Rigby's murder in May this year, according to police figures.

This compares to an average of just one alleged Islamophobic crime a day prior to the murder.

The spike continued into the following month, but has since returned to levels seen before Rigby's murder.

Seventy-seven per cent of the attacks were classed as violence against the person, three-quarters as harassment and 21% as criminal damage.

The figures were released this week by London mayor Boris Johnson.

One of the mayor's advisers had previously criticised what he calls the "Islamophobia industry" for trying to exaggerate the scale of attacks in London.

Writing in the Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan claimed that the rise in incidents was "almost entirely at the lower end of the scale."

Johnson released the figures in response to a written question by London Assembly member Murad Qureshi submitted three months ago.

Qureshi today urged Gilligan to "get back in his box" over the issue.

"I welcome the mayor's belated acknowledgement of this problem and think it is time Mr Gilligan gets back in his box," he told Politics.co.uk.

He added: "There are always copycat and backlash reactions to brutal murders like these and I am pleased that the Metropolitan police seem to be getting to grips with the issue."