Hate crime in London on rise, city hall study reveals

Up to 50 hate crimes are reported to police in London every day, adding up to 19,000 in 2018, a City Hall report revealed Monday.

With offences on the rise since 2011, the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee published a new report calling for more action from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to tackle hate crime in the capital.

The report shows homophobic hate crime reported to London’s Metropolitan Police is up 81 percent and racist and religious hate crime is up 107 percent since 2011. The study also shows disability hate crime is up 215 percent and transphobic hate crime is up 261 percent.

Most of the hate crime the police record is classed as racist and religious hate crime. In 2018, there were just over 16,500 racist and religious hate crime offences.

As well as the Metropolitan Police, other police services in London are also recording an increase in hate crimes.

British Transport Police (BTP) said that in London in 2018-19, it recorded 2,064 hate crime offences, a slight increase on the previous year.

Around one in four of the offences are committed against railway staff and over half are reported on London Underground trains.

The report says hate crime is recorded across all parts of London, but many offences are concentrated within a few boroughs. Westminster, Camden, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Barnet regularly appear in the top five boroughs for the different strands of reported hate crime.

Spikes in racist and religious hate crime also occurred following events like the EU referendum and London Bridge attack, the report adds.

London Assembly member Unmesh Desai, who chairs the committee, said: “These statistics are alarming and not representative of the vast majority of people living in the capital.

“Hate crime of any kind cannot be tolerated and we need to ensure that all Londoners can live without physical or verbal prejudice.”

Desai said organisations working across London to tackle hate crime and support victims are faced with a growing number of victims that need help.

The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has called on the mayor to strengthen efforts to tackle hate crime to ensure that victims can access the support they need.

“We must also challenge the attitudes of offenders. Working with both the victims and the offenders will help stem the rise of hate crime in our great city,” added Desai.

The committee wants a properly funded pan-London hate crime advocacy service for victims to be commissioned.