Guidance for Prosecuting Hate Crime Online

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Reference: 
2015/2156
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

The report ReportHate found that Metropolitan Police Service officers find it difficult to determine when an offensive post made online becomes a hate crime, making it difficult for them to respond effectively. What steps should the Metropolitan Police Service take to liaise with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice to clarify the threshold needed to determine when an online hate crime has been committed?

Answer

Answer for Guidance for Prosecuting Hate Crime Online

Answer for Guidance for Prosecuting Hate Crime Online

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I recognise the legal complexities of determining what constitutes an online hate crime and the MPS already liaises closely with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in order to ensure the best response.

In line with my Hate Crime Reduction Strategy for London, the MPS has a Commander- led Hate Crime Diamond Group, which is attended by all statutory partners and a large number of stakeholders from affected communities.  An Online Hate Crime Working Group reports to the Diamond Group and they will be addressing the challenges presented by the lack of a specific offence and the high evidential threshold with the CPS and MoJ.

I would add that prosecution is not the only option in combatting online hate crime.  My Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is to convene a roundtable discussion with online service providers and community stakeholders later this year to explore how we can collectively combat online hate.