Last week’s police raids in London targeting suspected perpetrators of domestic, race hate and homophobic violence will not be the last, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Violent Crime Directorate has warned.
DCI Gerry Campbell said last week’s operation signals the Metropolitan Police Service’s commitment to taking on hate crime offenders, but added that it is not a one off job.
Last Thursday’s dawn raids, named Operation Athena, were part of a two-week initiative to put the fear back onto the offenders, and encourage victims to report crimes.
DCI Campbell told PinkNews.co.uk: “We are taking on hate crime offenders every day of the week. There will be other Athena operations.”
Police arrested 316 suspects last week on suspicion of domestic, race hate and homophobic crimes. So far over 88 have been charged.
The number of domestic violence incidents reported to police in 2005/06 was over 108,000, with 24% of incidents accounting for all reported violence and 20% of all murders.
For 2005/06 there were 11,322 race hate crimes, and 1294 homophobic crimes, according to Scotland Yard figures.
Commander Steve Allen, head of the Violent Crime Directorate said: “The MPS take all allegations of these type of crimes very seriously, and have in place strident steps to tackle it. Each borough has a Community Safety Unit consisting of specially trained officers who investigate the crimes and provide support to the victims.
“The activity today is only a small part of the ongoing work of the teams on a daily basis. In the run up to the festive season where historically we have seen a rise in such cases, we need to get the message across that this type of crime will not be tolerated and you do not need to suffer in silence.
“These crimes may be affecting someone in your family, or one of your friends, and we want to encourage victims to come forward and know that we will deal with the
The force’s thirty-two dedicated Community Safety Teams will also be engaging with the community in raising awareness of how and where to report crimes, including third party reporting sites, providing high visibility patrolling, and responding to calls in domestic violence cars.
The results of the operation will be screened on the BBC’s Crimewatch on December 20.