A new team of specialist police officers is being set up to investigate online hate crimes, including abuse on Twitter and Facebook.
The Online Hate Crime Hub, which will receive £450,000 from the Home Office, aims to support victims and receive technology training to identify offenders.
The two-year pilot will cost £1.7m and has received £452,000 from the Home Office, the London Mayor’s office said.
A spokesman said there was “no place for hate” in London and there would be a “zero tolerance” of online abuse.
The team, which will be set up in the coming months, will identify the location of crimes and allocate them to the appropriate force. They will work with a team of volunteers.
“Social media provides hate crime perpetrators with a veil of anonymity, making it harder to bring them to justice and potentially impacting on a larger number of people. Victims can become isolated, living in fear of the online behaviour materialising in the real world”.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (Mopac)
Mopac also found the police response to online hate crime was inconsistent, primarily because police officers were not equipped to tackle it.
The new team will assist in training police officers and community groups in how to identify, report and challenge abuse.
A Mopac spokesperson said it was the first time a “dedicated police team” had been set up to detect and respond to hate crimes.
“Community groups in London have told us that online hate crime is an issue of increasing concern to them, and one for which the police response has in the past been inconsistent,” the spokesman added.
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.