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Opinion: Dealing with increase in hate crime

PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 October 2019

City & East AM Unmesh Desai has helped launch the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee's report on hate crime.

City & East AM Unmesh Desai has helped launch the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee's report on hate crime.

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Ex-West Ham and England striker Carlton Cole recently joined me at Chelsea FC to help launch the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee's report on hate crime, where he discussed his own experiences of dealing with racial abuse on and off the pitch.

London should be a welcoming place for everyone, regardless of background and ethnicity, yet sadly there has been a significant increase in the number of hate crime offences taking place in the capital.

Accordingly, in the Police and Crime Committee's new report, there are recommendations made to the mayor on what more can be done to tackle this surge.

Elsewhere, the committee recently heard from two domestic violence support services who provided harrowing accounts of the difficulties and obstacles their staff members are subject to whilst trying to carry out their vital work.

During the Committee meeting, London Assembly members were also given an insight into the increasing prevalence of perpetrators using smartphones and home security equipment to stalk and terrorise victims. This issue is something that must be factored into the Met Police's thinking when looking at solutions to tackling domestic abuse, and I will be raising questions on this in the future.

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It was disheartening that the day after this meeting, the prime minister wrote to the London Assembly rejecting its campaign to introduce a Domestic Abusers Register.

Despite this setback, I will continue to support efforts for the register to be put into place.

I have been appalled by recent figures which have shown that only three per cent of rape claims in London result in conviction.

Alongside this, it has also emerged that currently only eight per cent of homophobic hate crimes reported nationally, result in a conviction.

There are clearly questions to be asked about the investigation procedures of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Met Police.

From City Hall, I will be keenly investigating the reasons behind the fall in conviction rates.

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