The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [13]

Session date: 
July 6, 2017
Question By: 
David Kurten
Organisation: 
UKIP
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

David Kurten AM:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  I want to ask a few questions following on from the discussion earlier about hate crime.  Deputy Commissioner, you mentioned different categories.  You had a race‑based hate crime, religious, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic, disability and perhaps some other categories.

 

If you have religious hate crime and then also anti-Semitic and Islamophobic, are they counted twice?  What is the difference between those categories?

Answer

Answer for The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [13]

Answer for The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [13]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  They can be.  A lot of this is self‑defined and so you can have more than one flag, absolutely.  Without too much detail because of time constraints, when you actually put a crime report or incident report on it has a number of drawdown flags based on the conversation you have had with the person reporting or the information you have and you would highlight those flags.  You can have a number of flags, in exactly the same way you can have people who are vulnerable for a variety of other reasons as well.

 

David Kurten AM:  There could be one crime or one report of a crime, which may be counted ‑‑

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  It could generate a number of flags, yes.

 

David Kurten AM:  ‑‑ twice, three times or perhaps more?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  Certainly around incidents, yes.

 

David Kurten AM:  You often mention that there was a spike after some of the terrorist incidents.  How do you compile the figures?  We often hear afterwards that there has been a daily spike or a spike on a weekly or monthly basis.  What sources do you use?  Are they all reported directly to the police or do you use some outside agencies as well?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  Some will be third party reporting.  When we talk about crimes, as we are talking about with these, they are ones that have actually been reported to us.  As you can imagine when something happens a number of systems are put into place including, at a strategic level, daily monitoring.  Others in the organisation are monitoring these and monitoring the data at a local borough, sometimes almost live‑time.  However, we are doing it at a strategic level on a daily basis. 

 

David Kurten AM:  Do you still use Tell MAMA as a source?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  We use Tell MAMA.  We also use a number of other groups that bring third party reporting into us.  To get to a crime we have to have an instance of a crime being reported.

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Not all incidents will be a crime. 

 

David Kurten AM:  When you put out a press release, for example, after a terrorist incident saying there is a spike in hate crime - as happened after the London Bridge attacks - are those figures relating to reported hate crime or actual reports that are then designated as crimes?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  They are reports of crimes.  When we talk about it we are putting out crime data.

 

David Kurten AM:  They are reports of crimes.  Will all of those go on to be actual crimes or will some of them be designated as not being crimes?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  It would be difficult without doing a detailed analysis because there are various categories such as “no crime” and very few would end up there.   That is why you have to be very careful in this space whether you talk about “crimes” or “incidents”.  Incidents might not be crimes and crimes might not have been reported as an incident.

 

David Kurten AM:  Going back to Tell MAMA, are you aware its funding was stopped some years ago?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  I am not responsible for and do not look into funding for third party agencies.  The reality is if people want to tell us about incidents to some extent we judge on what they tell us rather than on the organisation telling us.

 

David Kurten AM:  Do you need to be very careful with third parties you are using to make sure what they are saying is credible?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  We do that test before we record things as a crime.  I personally think we have to be very careful as an organisation of saying, “You can only tell us through that person or that person”.

 

David Kurten AM:  Are you happy with Tell MAMA?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  I am not going to make judgements or statements about particular organisations.  I am going to say we use third party reporting to inform the picture we have of what is going on in London.

 

David Kurten AM:  Mr Mayor, are you happy with Tell MAMA?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  In answer to a question by Tom Copley [AM] I made the point that we should be supporting third parties making complaints.  Often a vulnerable victim - it can be for a variety of reasons - does not want to report an incident to the police.  It could be passengers on a bus, it could be third party groups, it could be a Member of Parliament who report crimes to the police.  The police, as the experts, work through the incident to decide what response there should be. 

 

I would encourage anybody who sees criminality - whether it is criminal damage or whether it is serious criminal offences against the person, including hate crime - to please report it to people of positions of power and influence.  If you do not feel confident to report it to the police report it to somebody else and they will report it to the police. 

 

David Kurten AM:  With hate crime you want people to have confidence in the figures you put out.  There have been some incidents of people reporting very, very trivial things.  For example, Amber Rudd [Home Secretary] was reported for a hate crime for something she said in a speech on immigration.  The Essex Police and Crime Commissioner said after Brexit - in the supposed spike of hate crime there - that some people did not like something Nigel Farage [Member of the European Parliament] said and reported it as a hate crime.

 

 

David Kurten AM: My question - to get back to being serious and scrutinising you - is how do you distinguish between those reports that are obviously trivial and those that are real hate crimes?  We do really need to make sure that anti‑Semitic hate crime, for example, which is rising is dealt with and that is not classed in the same category as things that are utterly trivial.  If you put out these figures very quickly without distinguishing between what is trivial and what is serious, how can people have confidence in your narrative?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  There is a well‑recognised threshold of when something is a crime and a description of what is a crime.  That is why I said about the issue of being clear on whether we are talking about hate crime incidents or hate crimes themselves.  Lots of things can get classified as a hate incident.  People make allegations to us about all sorts of things  every single day that do not necessarily meet the threshold to be a crime to be investigated.  We have always been very clear on those sorts of things.

 

David Kurten AM:  When you come out very quickly and mention hate crime there are actually reports.  Do you not think you should actually say they are ‘reported hate incidents’ rather than saying first of all they are hate crimes?  Some of them might not actually go on to be prosecuted.  That would allow people to have the confidence that you are not including things that are trivial in your statistics that come out very quickly after an alleged spike.

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  In fairness, we are often accused if they do not come out quickly because of exactly what you said, that issue of being sure they are absolutely crimes.  We will often talk about, “In the last week this is what we had in terms of crime”.  We can often only do that.  There is usually a two- or three-day delay from something being reported as an incident to ending up as a crime on the system.  It might have been a crime but it does not get into the central figures and that reporting back to us.  We are clear that when we are talking we are talking about hate crime.

 

David Kurten AM:  When you give your daily figures, are they for incidents reported on that day or are they for incidents that actually were carried out on that day?  Is there a possibility that people report something but it was actually done a few days before?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  As there is with every crime.  We have not touched on it but we are having crimes reported now that occurred 15 to 20 years ago and they end up in the crime figures today.

 

David Kurten AM:  When you say there is a spike after a terrorist incident, do some of those alleged incidents maybe happen on days before they are reported?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  We can do all of that.  We can break them down by times when they are reported.  We can break them down by who reports them and whether they come through third parties.  However, the reality with most of these things - let us take hate crime out of this - and all the other categories of crime is if, for example, you go away on holiday, come back and your house has been broken into, is that a burglary today or is that a burglary when you went on holiday.  That is normal.  That happens with every type of crime reporting.

 

David Kurten AM:  If you come out and say there is a spike in hate crime, for example, one or two days after a terrorist incident, some of those incidents that are reported might have happened before the actual terrorist incident took place.  I am not sure you answered the question there.

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  I did answer the question.  You might not have liked the answer - that is a different test - but I did answer the question.

 

David Kurten AM:  That is possibly true.  Finally, where are your figures published so that everyone can see them transparently?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  The Mayor earlier touched on the work going on around the MOPAC Dashboard.  We have hate crime on the Dashboard. 

 

David Kurten AM:  Can we see it now or is that something for the future?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  I do not know if it is live today.  It is ready for its soft launch.  That will allow you, down to a borough level, to look at particular hate crimes.