Hate crime increased hugely in London last year, with massive rises in homophobic, racist and disability hate offences. There were 19,000 recorded hate crimes in the Capital in 2018, averaging more than 52 a day, data analysis by the London Assembly has revealed.
Racist and religious hate crime doubled compared to 2017, and there were three times as many disability hate crimes recorded in the city. Homophobic hate crime increased 81 per cent in 2018, with transphobic hate crime up 261%.
The London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee is calling on the Mayor to do more to support victims of these offences.
Committee chairman Unmesh Desai said: “These statistics are alarming and not representative of the vast majority of people living in the Capital.
“London is proud of its reputation as a diverse and open city, home to people from all around the world and from different backgrounds.
“Hate crime of any kind cannot be tolerated and we need to ensure that all Londoners can live without physical or verbal prejudice.
“The Mayor needs to better demonstrate that he is giving hate crime the same level of attention as his other key priorities for the Capital.” Mr Khan should share information about support services available in London, and consider how he can do more proactive work to reduce hate crime, the committee said in its report.
Members also called for a pan-London hate crime advocacy service, delivered through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and for better work with offenders to change their attitudes.
Since the report was finalised, the Mayor has announced additional funding for London’s existing hate crime advocacy, meaning 400 more people will be able to access support.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said MOPAC would review the Assembly’s report and consider its recommendations.
She said: “The Mayor takes a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime in London and has invested more than £6million to tackle the issue – far more than any previous Mayor.
“This includes funding for specialist victim support and advocacy, education and awareness, and grass roots project
“The Met has made huge progress in tackling all forms of hate crime but it’s clear more needs to be done to encourage victims to report incidents, and explore new ways of identifying, preventing and challenging hate crime in all its forms.”