Met ‘failing’ hate crime victims in the capital
Categories: Latest News
Thursday April 07 2016
The London Evening Standard discloses details from its Freedom of Information request to the Met police about hate crime in London and outcomes of police recorded offences.
The paper notes the leap in police recorded racial and religious hate crime in the capital between 2011 and 2015 with figures almost doubling over the four year period from 7,989 to 14,111 respectively.
However, the number of prosecutions and other police action for racial and religious hate crime offences fell from 3,343 to 3,056 in the same period.
While the Home Office report on Hate Crime in England and Wales 2014/15 shows that racial and religious offences have higher rates of positive outcomes than general crime, it would appear the Met is behind the curve.
Figures for crime outcomes for in England and Wales between April 2014 and March 2015, reveal that crimes flagged as racially or religiously aggravated offences were more likely to be dealt with by a charge/summons than their non-aggravated counterparts. In particular:
- thirty per cent of racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm and distress offences were dealt with by charge/summons compared with 24 per cent of the non-aggravated equivalent offences,
- thirty four per cent of racially or religiously aggravated assault offences were dealt with by charge/summons compared with 21 per cent of non-aggravated assaults,
- twenty one per cent of racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage offences resulted in charge/summons, while only nine per cent of non-aggravated criminal damage offences were dealt with in this way.
The Met’s disclosure of information on hate crime outcomes will do little to sway those victims who refuse to report hate crime incidents to the police because they believe officers will be able to do little about it.
The MPS appear to be aware of the need to do more to track aggravated offences through the criminal justice system and deliver on crime outcomes. A copy of the minutes from the London Hate Crime Panel, convened by the Mayor of London, in May 2015 notes:
“The CPS created a national assurance regime in January to deliver more rigorous flagging and tracking of hate crime cases. A joint CPS/MPS masterclass training plan is being established. It will deliver scenario based training, led by the College of Policing, and some of the earliest topics will include responding to anti-Semitic/Islamophobic protests and issues around disability hate crime reporting.”
Just last week, the victim of a suspected Islamophobic incident, claimed that reporting the horrendous abuse she faced in a sweet shop in a west London to the police would be “a waste of my time.”
To deter victims from taking the same approach and to seriously tackle under-reporting of hate crime, the Metropolitan Police must do better to convince hate crime victims that it is committed to apprehending perpetrators and ensuring that they face criminal charges where appropriate.