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There is no place in London for hate

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There is no place in London for hate

Thousands of officers are undertaking extra patrols across London following the terrorist attack on Israel and ensuing conflict with Hamas.

In addition to the reassurance and security patrols, officers have visited more than 200 schools as well as more than 300 synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

Some of our communities are telling us they feel very vulnerable and we are working with their leaders, faith groups and others to reassure them and ensure they feel safe.

A significant increase in hate crime, particularly anti-Semitism, is reflected in the scale and focus of our policing operations.

We are expecting thousands of people to travel to central London tomorrow (14 October) to make their voices heard in a March for Palestine.

More than 1,000 officers will be on duty to police the march, in addition to officers across the capital, and will work alongside stewards and organisers.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is responsible for policing in London this weekend, said: “Our role as an independent and impartial service is to balance the right to lawful protest with potential disruption to Londoners.

“People do not have the right to incite violence or hatred. The law is clear that support for proscribed organisations is illegal.

“Anyone with a flag in support of Hamas or any other proscribed terrorist organisation will be arrested.

“We will not tolerate the celebration of terrorism or death, or tolerate anyone inciting violence.”

An expression of support for the Palestinian people more broadly, including flying the Palestinian flag, does not, alone, constitute a criminal offence.

However, there are some situations where the presence of a flag or banner or the use of specific words or phrases could be seen as intimidation. In some circumstances, it could also be seen as intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

We have written to the Attorney General and Crown Prosecution Service asking for urgent clarity and guidance on charging thresholds relating to hate crime to support our policing in coming days.

There has been a rise in hate crimes reported into us.

Between 29 September and 12 October 2023 there have been 105 reports of anti-Semitic incidents and 75 anti-Semitic offences. That is compared with 14 anti-Semitic incidents and 12 anti-Semitic offences during the same time the previous year.

There has also been a rise in Islamophobia. During the same time-frame there have been 58 Islamophobic incidents and 54 Islamophobic offences. In the same fortnight the previous year there were 31 Islamophobic incidents and 34 Islamophobic offences.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Taylor added: “We have seen behaviours this week that are unacceptable. They are hateful and there is no place for that in London.”




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