The number of hate crimes recorded in Bury averaged more than two a day during the first 10 months of last year, recently published figures reveal.

From January 1 to October 31, 2021 there were 641 hate crimes recorded in the borough.

The peak month for reports was June, with 82 cases recorded, while figures were lower during the lockdown period earlier in the year, with just 34 cases recorded in January.

The figures were included in the Bury Community Safety Partnership annual report which also highlighted measures to improve community cohesion.

The paper, discussed by Bury Council’s scrutiny committee, was written by the borough’s community safety manager Tom Hoghton.

He said: “The borough has seen a steady increase in recorded hate crime as lockdown measures eased. Crimes peaked during June and have remained static since then.

“There has been no wholesale change in the nature or severity of hate crime in Bury.

“Despite this increase, data from the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Survey suggests that after Trafford, Bury respondents are the most positive about whether people with different backgrounds get on well.

“The strong relationships that exist within communities throughout Bury have been invaluable throughout the pandemic, including supporting our most

vulnerable and mobilising activity to accelerate recovery.

“Several community and faith leaders have worked together effectively to support residents in culturally sensitive ways.”

Mr Hoghton said a council of mosques had been established in Bury which enabled them to speak with one voice on key issues and provides a forum to engage more directly with Muslim communities.

The formulation of the Jewish Strategic Group had similarly brought Jewish community leaders from across the spectrum of Judaism under one banner.

The report said fortnightly Covid meetings of the Bury Faith Forum had developed a more ambitious work programme.

The report discussed future measures for cohesion.

Mr Hoghton added: “The experience with Covid and the recent equalities review have highlighted the need for a re-examination of understanding both who and

where our communities are, especially those smaller, hidden communities.

“Community champions funding has been used to commission detailed mapping work of community groups across the borough and this will be presented to the partnership in 2022.

“The borough has had a hate crime forum for a number of years but based on feedback from partners and the community it has developed its remit to include some of the wider issues around social inclusion, promoting commonality and diversity and engaging with hidden communities.

“To support this work there is now a community cohesion thematic group which will have more of a focus on addressing the causes of hate crime, as well as supporting communities to respond to hate crime.”