The government has “systematically failed” the Sikh community by not dealing with hate crimes against the group according to the Sikh Federation.
The contentious claim was made in the results of the UK Sikh Survey 2016, devised by the federation which revealed that one in five participants had encountered discrimination in a public place over the past year and one in seven had directly experienced workplace discrimination.
Published last Friday (25), the study states: “Our view is the UK Government and public bodies have systematically failed the minority Sikh community by not adequately responding to the disproportionate impact of racism and hate crime targeting Sikhs since 9/11. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reports that the risk of being a victim of hate crime is higher if you are from an ethnic background compared to a white background.”
It highlights the fact that hate crimes against those who practice the religion, are being wrongly recorded by the police as Islamaphobic incidents.
The report also calls into question the accuracy of recorded police data.
“The Hate Crime Action Plan published in July this year was an excellent example of how Sikhs are ‘invisible’ to decision makers and senior politicians,” the report states.
The government’s four-year plan for tackling hate crime which was released earlier this year contained no reference to Sikhs being targeted in racist attacks according to the group who then contacted the home secretary about their concerns.
In total, 4,559 respondents participated in the study which disclosed that 17 per cent of Sikh women between the ages of 16 and 30 or one of their relatives or friends had been targeted by grooming gangs.
Other finding include over 93 per cent of those surveyed saying they would welcome the inclusion of a separate ethnic tick box for Sikhs in the next census.
It also found that 19 out of 20 rejected being described as Indian or Asian.
According to the 2011 census, there were 432,000 Sikhs in the UK which equated to 0.7 per cent of the population.
The biggest faith group was Christians-59.5 per cent, followed by Muslims 4.4 per cent and Hindus 1.3 per cent. Jews and Buddhists each form 0.4 per cent of the population.
The survey highlighted the lack or representation in the houses of parliament where there are no Sikhs sitting as MPs, and just three Sikhs in the House of Lords. Only one in nine respondents felt that parliament effectively represented them.