There has been an increase of over 43 per cent in racial and religious crimes in Tower Hamlets between February and March this year.
The number of racist and religious hate crimes increased from 51 to 71 occurrences in this period.
A hate crime is any criminal offence where the victim or someone else believes the crime is targeted because of a victim’s race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, disability, age, sexual orientation or any other actual or perceived difference.
Hate crime rose 40 years after the murder of Altab Ali in Tower Hamlets.
Tower Hamlets is ranked second for the most racist and religious hate crime offences out of all London boroughs since records began.
The borough has experienced 1,594 of these hate crimes between 2017 and 2019, with only Westminster having suffered more.
The number of hate crimes increased significantly between September and November from 58 to 76.
It decreased in December and February but it was followed by a sharp increase in the following months.
Residents of Tower Hamlets were called for a local council campaign to help tackle discrimination and hate crime.
The No Place for Hate campaign lasted from 26 April until 5pm on 3 May and the aim was to train locals to ensure they know how to tackle hate crime.
Participants of the programme are known as ‘champions’ and they join 128 other local residents each year.
The programme has involved 65,000 champions in 1,086 community-based events over the last decade to raise awareness about hate crime and encourage people to report it.
The Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities, Asma Begum, told Eastlondonlines: “Our current champions are doing an exceptional job in raising awareness of hate crime which is a severe issue.”
“We realised that hate crime and discrimination had become commonplace in the community and we wanted to do something about it.”
“Our team works tirelessly to tackle all types of violence, abuse and hate. Their work is vitally important in tackling these issues and making sure Tower Hamlets is No Place for Hate,” she added.
This partnership work is reducing repeat victimisation and was recognised in a recent OFSTED report and Local Government Chronicle’s Awards ceremony.
Trust for London is funding a two-hour course for disabled hate crime, which covers key concepts such as what hate crime against disabled people is and where victims can go to get support.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, told ELL: “This vital work makes a tangible difference to the survivors of violence against women and girls, hate crime and domestic abuse, and I’m pleased to see the team recognised at a national level.”
“Protecting women and girls who experience gender-based violence, stamping out intolerance and rejecting divisive groups that spread hate is as important as ever. In Tower Hamlets, the diversity of our communities is one of our greatest strengths.”
“I was proud to meet our newest champions and to hear about their plans to further build community cohesion, peace and tolerance in their neighbourhoods.”
“We will continue to work together with our partners to stamp out all forms of discrimination,” he concluded.
Hate crimes can be reported via the police non-emergency by dialling 101, or 999 in case of an emergency.
Anonymous reports of hate can be made to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
In order to apply for the training, email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call 020 7364 6105/6188.
To pledge against Hate Crime, visit Tower Hamlets’ website.