Concern has been raised over a rise in Islamophobia in North Ayrshire.

Data showed nine charges were made over people acting with “malice and ill-will” against Muslim residents in North Ayrshire in the 2017-2018.

This compares to with no smilar charges having been made from 2014 to 2017.

This is part of a wider trend across Scotland which highlights violence against Muslims has risen by 38 per cent since 2014. Five years ago there were 71 charges brought in relation to the offence. Last year this number rose to 115.

West Scotland MSP, Jamie Greene said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see that anybody treated violently on the basis of their religious beliefs.

“North Ayrshire is home to a diverse group of people and our community is stronger for it.

“The rise in cases of violence against Muslims should rightly be a concern to anyone who values religious freedom.

“I hope that people will reflect on this. Violence against anyone, simply because of their faith is completely unacceptable and has no place in North Ayrshire or Scotland.”