National Unit Tackling Online Hate Crime

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Reference: 
2015/2155
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

The report 'ReportHate - Combating Online Hatred' suggests that the Metropolitan Police Service should create a new unit which specifically investigates online hate crime. How valuable do you think such a unit could be for tackling offenders and supporting victims?

Answer

Answer for National Unit Tackling Online Hate Crime

Answer for National Unit Tackling Online Hate Crime

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I welcome your thoughtful report, which reinforces some of my own conclusions in my Hate Crime Reduction Strategy for London, which was launched last December. It is essential that the police have the right specialist skills and training to respond to this type of crime. 

It is vital that we tackle online hate crime effectively and that is why this was discussed as a priority area at the first meeting of my Hate Crime Panel. I want to proactively address this issue directly with social media providers so my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime will be convening a roundtable with them in the autumn to ensure they meet their obligations and responsibility to users.

With regard to setting up a specific unit, this would be a matter for the National Police Chiefs' Council (the replacement to ACPO). I understand the MPS have said that it is too early to consider the creation of a specialist unit until a clearer understanding of the complexities of online hate crime is gained.

What I am most focused on, rather than setting up specialist units for specific crimes is ensuring that all officers have the training they need to respond to hate crime and can access support from all the specialist services they need.  - including, perhaps, cyber-crime specialists. This was a key element of my hate crime strategy and there are now over 900 officers across the MPS available to deal with hate crime, an increase of 30%.