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View from City Hall: Racist abuse not welcome at Hammers

PUBLISHED: 08:30 10 March 2019

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Football clubs and their supporters have historically been targeted by far-right groups and the so-called Democratic Football Lads Alliance are the latest example of this.

We recently witnessed the ungratifying spectacle of Liverpool player Mo Salah being subjected to racist abuse at the London Stadium, which was shared widely on social media.

West Ham have come a long way in trying to tackle and prevent incidents such as this, which I can testify to from my dealings with the club over the last three decades. However, as I said in a recent letter written to Baroness Brady, we need to get the message over in no uncertain terms that the DFLA are not and never will be a part of the West Ham family!

I recently took part in two meetings in Parliament involving local constituents. Stephen Timms MP hosted the Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) for their annual presentation ceremony. It was great to see young people involved in innovative work which links anti-knife crime work to their sports programme. Whilst sadly knife crime continues to dominate the agenda it is good to see local projects working to develop initiatives to tackle the issue.

Lyn Brown MP hosted a discussion forum around the launch of Canning Town based Community Links’ report ‘Community Conversations’. I attended one such session last year and the report proposes a series of interesting recommendations for tackling youth violence, with those of us in attendance committing to a pledge each to put these into action.

I also recently met with the Metropolitan Police Federation to discuss police resources, pay, pensions and morale, as their recent national survey highlighted the increasingly depressing and desperate situation within the force. My motion last week to the full London Assembly called for the Met to be fairly resourced, and attracted support from all parties. With the Federation, I will be working over 2019 to build a campaign around ‘Care For Our Cops’.

• Campaigning along these lines is one of my 10 pledges in my Policing London: A Vision For A Safer City which is available from my GLA website along with details of the other work I am doing from City Hall.

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