London’s police officers will visit community groups at synagogues, mosques and gay clubs this week in a bid to reverse the shocking rise in hate crime across the capital.
The Met is encouraging victims of abuse to report physical attacks, bullying and harassment during a week-long blitz on hate incidents.
Officers have been instructed to visit places of worship as well as centres of the gay community as part of a stand against abuse to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
They will also target the sources of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in an effort to slow down the surge in hate offences.
Over the last 12 months the Met has reported a rise in all areas of hate crime, with a shocking 117 per cent increase in offences against disabled people.
Islamophobic hate crime has also shot up by almost 65 per cent in the last year, while homophobic offences are up by nearly 13 per cent.
The Met believes the increase could be down to a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime incidents.
But it has also pointed to world events, such as the Orlando night club shootings, as possible trigger causes.
Commander Mark Chishty, the Met’s lead for community engagement, said: “We are committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms, whether it’s on the streets, in the community or on the transport network.
“We have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and the hidden nature of this crime, which remains largely under-reported and we stand together with policing partners, colleagues and groups to investigate all hate crime allegations, support victims and their families and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Met chiefs have flooded local community safety units with more than 900 specialist investigators dedicated to rooting out hate crime.
They have also promised to place extra focus on gathering evidence and technology to hold offenders to account.
Commander Chishty added: “We would appeal to anyone who witnesses or suffers any hate of any type to immediately report it to us so that we can quickly take action and catch those who are responsible.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan was quick to endorse the Met’s work during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
He said: “London today is more diverse than ever and I am incredibly proud that we don’t just accept our differences, but celebrate them.
“There is simply no place in our capital for hate crimes of any for and I will not tolerate them.
“We must stand together and anyone who experiences or witnesses abusive behaviour should report it to the police immediately.”