It is vital that Londoners feel confident to report hate crime. Doing so provides the best opportunity for victims to be supported and for the police to catch the perpetrators. London’s diversity is one of its greatest assets. An attack on someone simply because of who they are is an attack on us all, and my determination to take a zero tolerance approach to hate crime is undiminished in my second term.
To get more people to report hate crime we must understand the barriers to reporting. Firstly, there is sometimes a lack of understanding and awareness of hate crime and what it is. We know that even victims of hate crime, some of whom face abuse or attack every time they leave the house, can normalise this abuse to the point they do not recognise that what has happened to them is a criminal offence. I have taken a number of steps to address this. I fund the London resources for National Hate Crime Awareness Week and Londoners will have seen the Stand Up Against Hate Crime campaign on the transport network. I also funded a Together Against Hate outreach programme, which included local community organisations, producing awareness‑raising material in formats appropriate to their own communities.
Another barrier is victim confidence to report, and confidence that action will be taken. To help address this, the MPS has improved its training so that officers can better recognise hate crime and provide a robust investigation. The MPS also now assesses the situation of all victims of hate crime to ensure that appropriate victim support can be offered. Many victims feel more confident about engaging with the police and criminal justice process with the support of specialist organisations. The new Hate Crime Victim Service supports a number of specialist victim support organisations who can accept reports that victims make to them rather than directly to the police.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales indicates that the number of people who say they have experienced hate crime has fallen over the last decade, while we know the number of hate crimes reported continues to increase. That shows that the hard work we, the police and communities have done is delivering results. More people are reporting what has happened to them. However, the same survey still indicates that hate crime remains significantly under‑reported, so I am determined that our work to raise awareness, provide support to victims and build the confidence to report hate crime will carry on.
Thank you, Mr Mayor. I am very short of time. I was going to debate the different types of reporting and the different levels of reporting on the different types of crime, but the big ask really is ‑ and you are right, we need to get more of these reported, I agree with you ‑ would you commit to doing an advertising campaign on the Underground and on the advertising spaces that you have to encourage more people to report hate crime and explain the different routes they have? They do not have to go via the police.
As I mentioned, we do have the campaign on the Underground. I am slightly nervous because the Chairman of the Budget and Performance Committee is always criticising me for spending resources, time, and effort on marketing. If he can get her to agree to this, I am sure I can look into this.
Advertisements cost money. If he can persuade the Chairman of his Budget and Performance Committee to see the benefits of marketing, to see the benefits of promotion, I am more than happy to look into ideas he has. It is another example of the left hand of the Conservative Party not knowing what the right hand is doing.