New campaign from City Hall aims to tackle hate crime

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says “London is for everyone” regardless of race, religion or culture, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)
Sadiq Khan (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)

Sadiq Khan has announced a new campaign aimed at tackling hate crime, as he pledged a further £250,000 for groups supporting community cohesion in the capital.

The new ‘London for Everyone’ campaign will launch on Friday (24th), with posters put up across the Transport for London (TfL) network, as well as online.

Khan said: “It’s part of a package of measures we’re doing from City Hall. One of the joys about our city is our diversity. I think it’s something that’s a strength, it should be celebrated – not a weakness that should be denigrated.

“The fact is, sometimes you can forget that London is for everyone. No matter what your culture, no matter what your country of origin, no matter what your faith.

“We’ve seen that over the last five or six weeks – people not feeling they belong. I’ve heard too many Londoners, who because they may be Jewish, or they may be Muslim, or they may be from the LGBTQ+ community, feeling a sense of ‘I’m not sure this is for me’.

“We’ve got to remind people that one of the reasons why we’re the greatest city in the world is because of our diversity, from [the] arts to our music venues, from our restaurants to our bars, from our synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, temples, churches.”

Claire Waxman, London’s victims’ commissioner, said she welcomed the new campaign, given the “shocking increase in hate crime incidents which has impacted our Jewish and Muslim communities in particular”.

The Met Police said earlier this month that it has made more than 188 hate crime and violence arrests since the 7th October Hamas terror attack on Israel.

The new campaign was announced during a mayoral visit to the central London headquarters of Galop, a LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity. Amy Roch, the charity’s deputy CEO, pointed out that “the government’s own figures show that there has been an increase of more than 37% in reported anti-LGBT+ hate crimes in the last two years”, adding: “It’s more important than ever that anyone who experiences a hate crime in London knows that they have specialist support available to them.”

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The £250,000 of new funding will be given to the Community Alliance To Combat Hate (Catch) partnership and the mayor’s Shared Endeavour Fund, to extend their work in the capital.

Catch is receiving the funding in addition to £2m it has already received from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac), which City Hall says will enable it to reach more than 3,500 victims of hate crime a year. The partnership of eight organisations including Galop, supports victims of all forms of hate crime – from racism to religious discrimination and anti-LGBTQ+ abuse.

The alliance will be prioritising additional funding for the Community Security Trust (CST) and Tell Mama, which are currently supporting members of London’s Jewish and Muslim communities impacted by rising tensions sparked by the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The Shared Endeavour Fund meanwhile aims at equipping grassroots organisations to use education to facilitate dialogue between young people, through interactive workshops and projects designed to challenge hatred. According to City Hall, more than 90,000 Londoners have been supported across more than 70 projects since 2020, with a further 23 projects being delivered this financial year in which a further 50,000 will participate.

Asked about support from the government in tackling hate crime, the mayor had warm words for the recent appointment of James Cleverly to the role of home secretary.

“I had a very good meeting with the new home secretary last week,” he said. “I’m really encouraged by the fact that we’re speaking and meeting and talking, but also his understanding of some of the concerns we have in our city.”

In a nod to his disagreements with Cleverly’s predecessor, Suella Braverman, Khan continued: “What’s clear to me – and I don’t mean in any way to sound patronising to James Cleverly – is that he understands the power of language, and that actually it can be a force for good, bringing people together.”

He said Cleverly’s experience as foreign secretary, and his visits to the Middle East as part of that role, means that “he understands the sensitivities” of the Israel/Gaza conflict, and the mayor added that he “looks forward to working closely with him”.

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