Mayor boosts support to combat rising hate crime in the capital

12 October 2019
  • As National Hate Crime Awareness Week starts, Sadiq announces new funding for communities in London facing a new escalation in hostility and prejudice
  • The Mayor has invested more than £6 million to tackle hate crime and help victims

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced he is investing an additional £500,000 to tackle the growing threat of hate crime in the capital, including new support for communities that have experienced hate crime following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Overall, reports of hate crime in London have increased by 31 per cent since 2015 with recent figures showing that there are on average 290 racist hate crime offences per week. There was a ‘spike’ in hate crime incidents following the EU referendum in July 2016, with the number of incidents almost doubling to 547 in the week following the referendum result. There have also been spikes in hate crime following UK and international terrorist attacks, with sharp increases in incidents reported in June 2017 and March this year, following the London Bridge and Christchurch New Zealand terror attacks.

On the eve of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Sadiq’s new investment will double the specialist advocacy support services provided to victims of hate crime, and offer financial support for grassroot projects tackling harmful ideologies.

The Mayor’s new package of measures includes:

  • Doubling the funding City Hall has allocated for the hate crime victim advocacy service delivered by Community Alliance To Combat Hate (CATCH), enabling the organisation to support around 900 victims to ‘navigate’ the criminal justice system, and to help them to improve their safety.  
  • Providing funding to support communities that suffered a spike in hate crime incidents following the EU referendum. This additional support to tackle hate crime is even more crucial as the UK prepares for the possibility of leaving the EU on 31 October.
  • Funding grassroots community organisations that help people to stand up to hate and intolerance.

Figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime show that there are on average 181 faith-based hate crime incidents per month in London with, among boroughs, Barnet seeing the highest volume of anti-Semitic hate crime and Tower Hamlets the largest number of Islamophobic hate crime incidents. On average, there are 41 disability hate crime incidents, 178 sexual orientation hate crimes and 17 incidents of transgender hate crime every month. The majority of sexual orientation hate crime incidents are in Westminster, Lambeth and Southwark[1].

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Hate crime of any kind has absolutely no place in our city. As we mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week, I am clear that there must be zero tolerance of hate crime in London. We know this form of crime has a devastating and long-lasting impact on those who are targeted, and I am clear that the police have my full support in enforcing the law against anybody who commits these crimes.

“It is clear that more must be done to help victims to report incidents and to find new ways of identifying, preventing and challenging hate crime. That’s why we have invested more than £6million – more than under any previous Mayor – to tackle the growing threat that London’s diverse and minority communities are facing. Our new investment will enable specialist support services significantly to increase the help and advocacy they can provide to victims, and it will ensure that we are putting in to practice the lessons learned following previous spikes in hate crime so that all victims can access the support and justice they deserve.”

London’s independent Victims’ Commissioner, Claire Waxman, said: “Experiencing a hate crime is a frightening and overwhelming experience. It is vital that anyone who has experienced hate crime has the confidence to come forward and report the incident, knowing that it will be taken seriously and that they will be treated with respect and sensitivity. I welcome the Mayor’s additional funding to support victims of hate crime throughout the criminal justice system and also to help those victims who may choose not to pursue a criminal prosecution. The funding will ensure that victims have access to the support and advocacy they need at a time where they can feel at their most vulnerable. However, I would encourage the Government to bring forth the Victims’ Law as swiftly as possible, ensuring that all victims, whatever the crime, can access their rights and the information and support they need.”

Nik Noone, Chief Executive of Galop said on behalf of the CATCH partnership of anti-hate crime charities: “We welcome this much needed investment in support for Londoners facing hate crime. It comes at a crucial time given the escalation in hate crime and represents a huge step forward in providing the right support to those who need it. Hate crime deeply impacts individuals and the wider community and it is vital that people facing hate crime have access to high quality specialist support and advocacy based within their community.”

Dave Rich, Director of Policy for the Community Security Trust, said: “CST is proud to work with the Mayor’s Office to support victims of antisemitic hate crime. Our CATCH partnership with other community groups represents the core values that we all share and the importance of people from all backgrounds standing together against hatred of all types.”

 

Laura Russell, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, Stonewall said: “It’s great to see the Mayor investing more resources to address rising hate crime in London. We know from our research that one in five LGBT people (21 per cent) have experienced a hate crime in the last year, but the majority of LGBT people are still reluctant to go to the police. The Government’s National LGBT Survey showed that LGBT people feel most supported by LGBT community groups and charities, so we welcome Mayor’s decision to fund grassroots organisations. Stonewall works with the police and Crown Prosecution service to improve the response to anti-LGBT hate crime. We want to build a world where every LGBT person feels free to walk down the street without fear of abuse or discrimination.”

Superintendent Waheed Khan, Met’s Hate Crime lead, said: “I am pleased at the announcement of additional funding being made available to help tackle the scourge of hate crime, which impacts upon lives across London. The Met remains committed to tackling hate crimes in all its forms, and we will continue to work with our partners and the public to do so.”

Notes to editors

The Mayor of London has invested more than invested more than £6million to tackle the issue of hate crime – far more than any previous Mayor. This includes funding for specialist victim support and advocacy, education and awareness, and grass roots project funding.

New funding for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime includes £370,000 towards Community Alliance To Combat Hate until 2020, £95,000 to work with communities not previous supported through anti-hate crime work and £100,000 to go towards grassroots projects that tackle hateful ideologies and support people to challenge prejudice wherever they see it.

Those facing rising incidents of hate crime include Eastern European, Jewish and Muslim communities.

[1] Figures from MOPAC Hate Crime dashboard: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/data-and-statistics/hate-crime-dashboard

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