Metropolitan police officers carried out a series of raids across London this morning targeting dangerous and prolific offenders suspected of domestic, homophobic and race hate crimes.

Operation Athena coincided with Saturday’s International Day Against Homophobia, and was designed “to put the focus on the offender, and bring them to justice.”

This is the eighth year that the Met have carried out the operation.

They said they would also carry out high visibility patrols, and work with Safer Neighbourhoods Teams to encourage victims to come forward and report hate crimes to officers or a third party.

Community Safety Units investigate complaints of domestic violence, hate crime and vulnerable adult abuse.

Today hate and faith crime, racist, homophobic and disability motivated crime, as well as crimes against the vulnerable or elderly by members of their own family or carers were targeted.

Detective Superintendent Gerry Campbell, heading Operation Athena, said;

“We remain committed to improving our service to victims of domestic violence, homophobic and race hate crime, and identifying, taking on, arresting and prosecuting perpetrators of this violence.

“We have community safety units in every London borough who are dedicated to the investigation of these crimes, and 213 LGBT liaison officers.

“Today’s operation sends out a clear message: violence in any form is unacceptable. We do not require a statement from a victim in order to arrest and charge a perpetrator.

“Through engaging and understanding the needs of all London’s many diverse communities, we remain committed to being an employer of choice and an organisation for everyone.”