Protest: Greater London

Home Office written question – answered at on 4 March 2024.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has provided guidance to the Metropolitan Police on tackling anti-Semitic (a) chants and (b) slogans during protests.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

This Government is clear that antisemitism is completely unacceptable, and we have a robust legislative framework to respond to hate crimes which target race and religion. The Government expects police to enforce the law where appropriate to protect communities and maintain public order and public safety.

Whilst the police are operationally independent and work in line with the College of Policing’s operational guidance to respond to hate crime, we expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. Whether specific chants or slogans constitute an offence depends on the specific context surrounding the incident and decisions on arrests are a matter for the police.

The College of Policing is responsible for providing guidance to police and are operationally independent from Government. The College of Policing have provided guidance and communications with frontline officers to ensure all officers have the latest information, advice and support they should be providing to communities.

On 28 February 2024, the Government published the Defending Democracy Policing Protocol after consulting with senior policing leaders. The protocol includes seven commitments aimed at addressing the growing trend of intimidatory behaviour and attempts to manipulate the democratic process. The full protocol can be accessed here: Defending democracy policing protocol - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

I also recently made a statement to the House of Commons on antisemitism in the UK. A copy of this on Hansard is available here: Antisemitism in the UK - Hansard - UK Parliament

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