The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [8]

Session date: 
July 6, 2017
Question By: 
Tom Copley
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you very much, Chair.  That leads us nicely on to my question, which is about the rise in hate crime.  Racist and religious hate crime rose 19% in the past year.  I welcome your commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.  Is that commitment being fulfilled?

Answer

Answer for The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [8]

Answer for The future of the Metropolitan Police Service (Supplementary) [8]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I hope Londoners will feel that the police and all of us are doing our bit.  The police are only one part of the jigsaw.  We cannot give all the responsibility to the police.

 

The good news is that the Home Secretary after the Finsbury Park attack agreed to allow us say to faith groups across London, “Please apply for some funding they have made available to keep your building safe”.  As you will aware, our Jewish communities have the support of the Community Security Trust (CST) and it is still the case in 2017.  If you happen to be somebody who goes to a synagogue or a Jewish school, you need that protection.  What the Home Secretary has agreed to do is to allow us to encourage faith communities across London to apply for this funding.  It is really important.  There is closed-circuit television (CCTV) and other things you can do to design out the possibility of being a victim of hate crime.

 

Neighbourhood policing is part of that equation as well, but it is also about Londoners feeling confident to report hate crime.  The increase in hate crime is not simply because of more confidence.  That may be part of it.  There is something there and we saw that post Brexit.  We saw that post the attack on London Bridge.  We need to make sure we address that.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you for that.  I believe that you set up this online hate crime hub.  Could you tell us how that is progressing and how many reports have been made?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I will let the Deputy Commissioner deal with the issue ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Yes, thank you.

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  ‑‑of the online crime hub, which is the first of its type in the country.  I know that some people - and he is not in his seat now - were not happy with this, but it is very important to have an online crime hub.

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  You will be aware that this is a project that started in March this year.  It is multiagency.  It is aimed at improving people’s knowledge and evidence base around the extent, nature and impact of online hate crime.  At its core is a cadre of police officers including a detective inspector who can give that focus to it.  It is very much seen that if this is something that works, which we think it will, it is something that could be potentially rolled out nationally; hence the support of the Home Office Innovation Fund as well in terms of the work around doing this.  This is to provide that access into evidence-based resources that can work and give specific advice around particular hate crimes and how they are managed.  What we are seeing is that it started with quite a slow start, but it is starting to pick up as awareness rises around it in terms of the reporting coming in.

 

We are also reinforcing that with all the third-party reporting that we do around hate crime.  Some of the data is starting to show real increases in areas of hate crime where we were not getting any hate crime or very low levels of hate crime reporting before.  A year is probably the best way of doing it.  If you take 2015 as opposed to 2016 across all types of hate crime - race, faith, homophonic, transgender, disability, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic - they are averaging an increase of anywhere between 10% and 30% plus in terms of the reporting we are seeing and that is consistent.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Could you tell us how many reports have been made through the online hub?

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  I do not have the direct number of reports.  I will get that for you so that you have it.

 

Tom Copley AM:  That would be helpful.  Thank you very much.  Mr Mayor, last year you said,

 

            “I simply will not tolerate hate crimes of any form anywhere in London.  We must stand together and anyone who sees or is targeted by abusive behaviour should report it to the police immediately.”

 

Given that we know hate crime is under‑reported, I propose a promotional campaign to highlight what hate crime is and to encourage people to come forward and report it based on the Report it to Stop it campaign run by Transport for London (TfL).  What are your views on launching such a campaign through MOPAC and the MPS?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I do not see a downside.  Chair, with your permission, why do we not talk about how we can progress that outside of the Plenary?  The key thing is that I want all Londoners to be comfortable with who they are.  One of the ways to do that is to recognise we are on your side.  Can we therefore discuss that?

 

Tom Copley AM:  Absolutely, and also making people aware they can report hate crime ‑‑

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  It is so important.

 

Tom Copley AM:  ‑‑ even if they observe it and it does not happen to them.

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Absolutely right and we have seen that through TFL.  I hope Londoners will recognise that some of the prosecutions that have been brought are because of TfL’s technology.  Val Shawcross [Valerie Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor for Transport] deserves a lot of credit for that.  Some of the things you have seen on maybe YouTube or social media are because of the quality of TfL’s CCTV.  It is really important people have confidence.  The Deputy Commissioner referred to the innovation around online and phone‑in.  That is one of the reasons why people are more confident to report things.  You do not have to go the police station, you can do it online.  We are keen to encourage that.

 

Craig Mackey QPM (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service):  We absolutely support your proposal.  I would also encourage everyone to keep all those avenues open because different people will want to report in different ways.  They will not feel confident coming to an authority figure or an authority organisation.  They will want to tell a friend or they will want to tell someone in a school environment.  We have to make sure we are capturing all of that.  The technology one is absolutely the right one.  The CCTV on buses and the stuff on the Tube is an absolute game‑changer in terms of the ability to be able to prosecute people.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you very much.