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Prosecutions of hate crimes fall in London despite increase in reporting

27th May 2016

Elham Asaad Bauras

The UK’s largest police force had been accused of failing victims of Hate Crime after released figures revealed a dramatic fall in prosecutions.

The number of people facing police action for Hate Crimes in London has dropped by 13 per cent in the past five years, despite the number of recorded offences rocketing 72 per cent during the same period.

The figures, obtained by the Evening Standard, reveal racist or religious hate offences almost doubled over the last five years from 7,989 to 14,111 or more than 38 offences a day. However, the number of prosecutions and other police action fell from 3,343 to 3,056 in the same period

Campaigners described the new figures as a “wake-up call” for the Metropolitan Police. The data shows that the total number of hate crimes recorded by the Met jumped from 9,455 in 2011 to 16,296 last year.

However, the number of offences that led to police action fell from 3,931 to 3,418. It means that the Met acted in 41 per cent of cases in 2011 – but only 21 per cent in 2015.

In December, the Met revealed that the number of Islamophobic incidents in the capital significantly spiked in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. There was also a record 146 attacks on Muslims last month, with 122 in the fortnight after the Paris terror attacks.

Figures showed there had been 557 Islamophobic hate crimes in 2013; 624 in 2014; and up to November 24, 2015, 878. Incidents may involve a physical attack, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults or hate mail.

In a statement to The Muslim News a spokesman for the Met said among the range of factors that contributed to the rise in hate crimes are world events “a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime and an improved awareness of staff in identifying these offences.”

The police also say most of the increases in hate crimes are non violent offences adding that “sanction detection rates have fallen, as many of these non violent offences present less evidential opportunities. However, we are committed to improving our total number of sanction detection rates and successful prosecutions.”

“We have increased specialist investigators within our 32 London borough community safety units by 30 per cent, with more than 900 specialist member of staff dedicated to investigating all hate crime and we have reviewed our hate crime policy, placing extra focus upon evidence gathering and technology to help us achieve better outcome rates.”

“We are acutely aware that all areas of hate crime are still under reported and we are working hard with our partners to address this, so more people feel confident to come forward, either to police, via a third party or online.”

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