Britain’s most senior police officer on Thursday night vowed not to “let the haters win” in a striking address to the #NO2H8 Crime Awards.
Praising the efforts of “ordinary” people in standing up to hate, Cressida Dick, the Met Police Chief, said: “This is difficult work if you’re in law enforcement and even more difficult work if you’re in the third sector or in the community- you don’t have the uniform or support we have when you take these issues on.
“I pay tribute to all the ‘Upstanders’ and all the people who are determined that even when we have the most terrible things like the 2017 attacks happen, we do not take our foot off the gas. We will not allow people to divide us.”
Cressida Dick was addressing a 350-strong audience during the third #NO2H8 Crime Awards held at the InterContinental hotel on Park Lane. In February 2017, Ms Dick became the first women to take charge of the Metropolitan Police.
“In London, on occasion, we have hate crime and on occasion we have devastating hate crime. London was riven and wounded last year, together with the rest of the country, by the most awful, senseless and hateful attacks,” she added.
“But what we are most proud of in Britain is our diversity and our cohesiveness and we will not let the haters win.”
Cressida Dick recalled her time as Commander for Diversity in the wake of the 9/11 attacks when she witnessed a Muslim colleague in traditional dress being subject to abuse upon laying a wreath: “I remember thinking what is happening in our country and what do we now have to do.”
“But I am incredibly proud of the police and law enforcement people, who have done so much since that time to stand up against hate crime, to make us as a service very much better at supporting those who challenge hate crime, and to deal with and investigate hate crime effectively,” she concluded.