Five people in London were arrested on suspicion of homophobic and transphobic crimes yesterday as part of a series of dawn raids.

A total of 247 people were arrested in connection with hate crimes in yesterday’s Met police operation.

The raids were timed to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, known as White Ribbon Day, and the majority of arrests related to domestic violence.

Of the five arrested in connection with anti-gay and anti-trans crime, one man was arrested in Islington for a public order offence on October 26th which allegedly involved homophobic abuse. He was bailed to return pending further enquiries.

Another man, aged 40, was also arrested in Islington and charged with a public order offence after allegedly verbally abusing a victim.

In Kensington, a man was arrested for breaching a restraining order which was issued in relation to homophobic harassment. He was bailed to return.

A man was arrested in Wandsworth for a public order offence. He was said to have verbally abused a trans woman and was bailed to return.

The fifth arrest concerned an incident in which two people were attacked in the street by a gang in Westminster. One person was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and bailed to return.

There were also 19 arrests connected to racist offences and one relating to crimes against the vulnerable or elderly by members of their own family or carers.

Yesterday, Detective Superintendent Darren Williams, the head of the Public Protection Unit, said: “We know that these types of crime are still under reported and we will continue to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of communities so that victims feel that they can come forward.

“My key message to victims of these offences is tell us what is happening so we can help you but if you can’t tell the police – tell someone.”

The raids were part of Operation Athena and, since 2006, have been carried out twice yearly to coincide with White Ribbon Day in November and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in April.