A Hate Crime Reduction Strategy has been developed by the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) in close consultation with key partners including the Metropolitan Police Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice, as well as voluntary and community organisations across the capital.
It sets out plans to boost confidence across all communities in reporting hate crime, develop ways to prevent offences and reduce repeat victimisation and outlines how agencies can work together to ensure swift and sure justice for victims.
Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic, specifically race, religion/ faith, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity.
According to recent statistics, since 2012, hate crime relating to faith has increased by 23.4%, transgender hate crime has grown by 86.2% and homophobic crime has gone up by 26.8%. This compares to the slightly lower increases in disability hate crime (12.5%), and racist and religious crime (19.7%).
Throughout the 12-week consultation on the plan, the challenge of under-reporting was consistently highlighted by all communities. The strategy therefore sets out plans to increase awareness of hate crime in London and encourage more people to come forward about their experiences.
The Hate Crime Reduction Strategy, along with a status report on the key actions contained within the strategy are available for further information.
Hate Crime Service Commissioning
There are three key actions within the Hate Crime Reduction Strategy for London that require MOPAC to commission specific services in support of hate crime victims.
These are key actions 3, 4 and 17:
- MOPAC will develop a smartphone crime reporting app and pilot the use of that app for hate crime by 2015
- MOPAC will work with the third sector to scope and develop a pan-London third party telephone reporting mechanism to complement existing local mechanisms
- MOPAC will work with criminal justice system partners to develop and pilot a scheme of Hate Crime Victim Advocates to support those who have been targeted and to help them to cope and recover
MOPAC has been developing this work over several months and held a public engagement event for interested parties on 3 August 2015.
The invitation to tender for the pilot Hate Crime Victims’ Advocates scheme has now closed.
Smartphone Crime Reporting App
On 16 October 2015 a new smartphone app was launched to make it easier for Londoners to report hate crime and access support services. The app, which is free to download and available on both Apple and Android platforms, enables victims to immediately report an incident with the information going directly to the Police via a secure server.
Message from the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime
Responding to an increase in reported hate crime following the EU Referendum, Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has issued a message to communities and partner organisations to encourage victims to come forward to the police.