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[Officers briefing ahead of a reassurance patrol in Stamford Hill]
[Officers briefing ahead of a reassurance patrol in Stamford Hill]

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“We will take positive action at every opportunity”

We are sharpening our approach to those who use peaceful protest as a cover to commit offences as hate crime continues to rise in London.

Senior officers are concerned at rising levels of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as well as the number of referrals of extremist and hateful material online.

In particular, those who cynically push the boundaries of what is legal can expect a robust response from officers.

Ahead of Remembrance Sunday we will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to those who commit hate crime and criminal disruption.

We are using sharper interventions to make arrests in big crowds, including analysing social media and employing retrospective facial recognition.

Officers continue to provide reassurance patrols and have now made more than 6,500 visits to vulnerable premises, including 928 schools and 4,769 faith premises.

Commander Karen Findlay, who is responsible for policing in London this week, said: “As we enter the fourth weekend of protest it is only right we continue to review and refine our policing approach.

“I have heard first hand from faith leaders and others of the devastating impact of recent events for Londoners.

“Hate crime sadly continues to rise. This will not be tolerated.

“My message to our officers is clear – we will be taking positive action at every opportunity when we are alerted to crimes, particularly those which are inflammatory and fuelled by hate.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure a fast, timely response and the necessary intervention.”

A total of 133 people have been arrested for crimes including racially aggravated public order offences, assaulting police and criminal damage since October 7.

In addition, three women have been held for terrorism offences, two after being seen wearing images of paragliders and a third suspected of supporting Hamas online.

Of the 133 arrested, 26 people have been charged, 14 for allegations of anti-Semitism and six for allegations of Islamophobia.

The others are charged with faith hate, criminal damage and other matters.

Following our appeal to help us identify 12 people for racially aggravated public order offences and affray five people have been identified.

They have been interviewed under caution yesterday. Our investigation into the other seven, remains ongoing and we ask for the public to help us identify them.

Since 7 October, the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has received more than 1,800 public referrals about potential online terrorist or criminal activity relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Every referral is triaged and so far there are more than 350 cases of interest requiring further assessment and this process is ongoing.

A small number of investigations have been opened by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and a further 44 matters are being passed to other policing colleagues in the Met, or nationally.

This work has led to the arrest of a woman by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command as part of an investigation into online support of proscribed terrorist group Hamas.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Supporting any proscribed terrorist groups here in the UK – whether it be online or in the real world – is a serious offence.

“We will look to investigate and take action where we find evidence of people doing this.

“We’re receiving hundreds of referrals of potential criminal and terrorist activity online every week, and I thank the public for doing this. These reports are taken seriously and where we identify potential terrorist activity, we will take action.”

Notes to editors:

Details on counter terrorism arrest

On 17 October, a public referral was made into the CTIRU, highlighting posts linked to a social media account. The posts were assessed as potentially being in breach of terrorism legislation and further investigated.

Further enquiries were carried out to identify the user behind the account, which led officers to arresting a 22-year-old woman from northwest London on Thursday 2 November.

She was arrested on suspicion of expressing an opinion or belief that is supportive of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 12(1a) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

She was taken to a west London police station and interviewed by detectives before being released on bail to a date in early February 2024 pending further enquiries.

Hate crime update

Over the past month we have seen a significant rise in the number of hate crime offences being reported across London. Between 1 October and 1 November 2023, we received:

554 reports of anti-Semitic offences and 657 reports of anti-Semitic incidents.

This compares with 44 offences and 49 incidents in the same period in 2022.

We received reports relating to 220 Islamophobic offences and 230 Islamophobic incidents.

This compares with 78 offences and 71 incidents in the same period last year.

We continue to provide reassurance patrols and we have now made more than 6,500 visits to vulnerable premises, including 928 schools and 4,769 faith premises.

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