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This is a very fast moving emergency situation, so please note that this response was based on the developments and advice given at the time.
I have always and will continue to make it clear that no form of racism or discrimination will be tolerated in London. Any use of the virus as an excuse for harassment, especially towards Chinese children is completely unacceptable.
I am aware of national reports of increases in hate crime against the Chinese community following the publicity of the Coronavirus. The situation is being monitored daily and to date there has not been a significant increase in reported hate crime in London but we know that there is growing community concern.
My teams are actively monitoring the impact that concerns about Coronavirus are having on businesses and tourism in the capital. There are no reasons for Londoners and visitors to the capital not to continue to go about their daily lives, enjoying the capital’s excellent attractions, shopping and restaurants.
If you are targeted in any way – verbally or physically abused - or witness any such incident, I would encourage you to report it to the police by calling 101 (999 in an emergency), visiting a local police station or using the online reporting tool, which can be found here: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/how-to-report-hate-crime/. This will help the police to identify those responsible and better enable the deployment of police officers to vulnerable areas.
If you have witnessed or been the victim of crime, it is natural to feel a little overwhelmed and help and support is available to get you back on your feet and guide you through the investigation process. You can get help through Victim Support’s 24hr support line: 0808 1689 111 or from our specialist advocacy service CATCH (Community Alliance To Combat Hate) using the online reporting tool here: https://www.catch-hatecrime.org.uk/make-a-referral.