Concerns have been raised at City Hall that hate crimes against Hindus are not being effectively recorded by police services.
The London Assembly has passed a motion calling for the Met Police to work more closely with local Hindu communities to encourage confidence in reporting hate crimes.
It has also called for improved transparency on the Met’s website, so that Londoners can easily access the data on how many hate crimes are being committed against different religions across the capital.
A motion on the issue was put forward last week by Krupesh Hirani, a Labour member of the London Assembly.
Mr Hirani told his colleagues: “I was concerned to see Home Office figures showing an increase of recorded hate crimes against Hindus across England and Wales, alongside an increase in racially or religiously aggravated offences.
“When I looked into these figures over the summer, the second highest number of victims of racially and religiously motivated hate crimes were Hindus – and half of the UK’s Hindus live in London.
“However, the Met Police [online] dashboard does not break down hate crimes [committed against] all religions. It is therefore difficult to see the number of recorded crimes against our Hindu Londoners.
“The Crime Survey for England and Wales indicates that the Hindu community have been victims of hate crime at a higher rate than is being recorded.”
Mr Hirani, who represents Brent and Harrow on the Assembly, added: “We cannot begin to tackle these issues unless it is properly recognised.”
He said there was a need for the Met to “rebuild trust with communities in London” in order to increase victims’ willingness to report crimes.
Speaking in support of Mr Hirani’s motion, Liberal Democrat member Hina Bokhari said: “I recently had to notify police about racist graffiti at my local bus stops and then again [after I] was racially abused at my local councillor surgery.
“This has been logged as Islamophobia on the crime dashboard, and it should be the case for all religions.
“I admittedly was reluctant at the beginning to report the crime, but I’m glad I did. We need people to trust the system, and that is what is important here. The Met has to have a clear picture of hate crime in all its forms.”
Mr Hirani’s motion won unanimous support from all four of the Assembly’s political groups – Labour, Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat.
The Met currently publish recorded crimes on their online dashboard under the umbrella terms of ‘hate crime’, ‘racist and religious crime’ and ‘faith crime’. Hate crimes which specifically target Jews and Muslims are respectively recorded as ‘anti-Semitic crime’ and ‘Islamophobic crime’, but no special category is given on the dashboard for Hindus or other religious groups.