Too many hate criminals are escaping justice

Caroline Pidgeon has expressed concern that too many hate crimes are not being properly dealt with.

The number of cases of hate crime that have resulted in a criminal charge in London has dropped over the last three years, new data uncovered by the Liberal Democrats shows. Across every single individual category of hate crime – including homophobia, transphobia, racism, disability hate crime, antisemitism and islamophobia – fewer incidents result in a charge.

Despite a 20 per cent surge in hate crimes reported to the police across the Capital in the last five years, the number of charges from the Met has dropped by 9 per cent over those five years, and by a staggering 37 per cent in the last three years. Overall, just 8 per cent of reported hate crimes in 2023 resulted in a charge, compared to 12.7 per cent three years earlier.

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Mayor of London to do more to ensure that the Met tackles hate crime and treats it as a priority, and have also called on the UK Government to do more at a national level to tackle the issue, abandoning their divisive language that over recent times has often inflamed hate crime rather than helped to tackle it.

Caroline said:

“Hate crime is a serious crime. Its impact leaves victims traumatised and feeling unsafe simply for being who they are.

“It is extremely worrying that not only has the number of incidents of hate crime surged in recent years but simultaneously the number of charges by the Met across London has actually fallen.

“We need the Met, the Mayor of London and the UK Government to work together to tackle this issue. London is and should always be an open and welcoming city for everyone, no matter your background.

“The Conservative Government has implemented brutal cuts to London’s police since 2015, with the number of PCSOs on London’s streets having fallen by 32 per cent. We need to see more bobbies back on the beat to deter this sort of crime.

“But we also need to see some high-level prosecutions demonstrating that hate crime, whatever form it takes, is never acceptable. The current data we have unveiled shows that far too few crimes are resulting in a charge, with the situation likely to be even worse in reality than even this data suggests given many people do not report hate crimes to the police due to a lack of faith in the service to act on the report.”