Jewish groups met with London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), Stephen Greenhalgh, yesterday to discuss anti-Semitic hate crime at demonstrations and on social media.
MOPAC is the strategic oversight body which sets the direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of the Mayor of London.
The meeting, convened by the London Jewish Forum, coincides with MOPAC’s publication of Hate Crime Reduction Strategy for 2014-2017. The Deputy Mayor welcomed the CST, London Jewish Forum, Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies.
The MOPAC report, published today, reveals that 95% of hate crimes committed in London in July 2014 were anti-Semitic incidents in reaction to the Gaza conflict. Racist and religious offences increased 11% on the previous year.
Community representatives briefed the Deputy Mayor on the rise in antisemitic incidents in London during the Summer and the need for prosecutions, including for online hate speech.
Philip Rosenberg, director of public affairs at the Board of Deputies hailed a ‘productive meeting’ and said the Deputy Mayor was ‘visibly shocked when we spoke about some of the abuses that had occurred at demonstrations and on social media over the summer’.
Mr Greenhalgh agreed to consider action to be taken against those who expressed antisemitism at protests, and to explore how to further empower the police to take action on hate speech on social media.
Dave Rich, deputy director of communications at CST, called the meeting, ‘a welcome opportunity for us to discuss the problem of antisemitic hate crime with our partners at City Hall.’ The Deputy Mayor noted the work of the CST’s with victims of antisemitism in London.
The MOPAC report sets out comprehensive measures to combat hate crime, aiming to tackle underreporting of incidents. It sets includes plans to pilot a smartphone app for reporting incidents and an online map of hate crime hotspots, as well as special training for police and prosecutors.