EXCLUSIVE: Charity campaigner speaks out over ‘worrying’ rise of racial and religious hate crimes in Redbridge

Senior case worker David Landau, from the Redbridge Equalities and Communities Council (RECC)

Senior case worker David Landau, from the Redbridge Equalities and Communities Council (RECC) - Credit: Archant

Urgent action is needed to tackle racist and religious hate crimes after hundreds of attacks were reported in Redbridge.

Det Insp Ian Bowles, from Redbridge police

Det Insp Ian Bowles, from Redbridge police - Credit: Archant

Senior case worker at the Redbridge Equalities and Communities Council (RECC) David Landau has spoken out after figures showed a 70 per cent increase in offences in five years.

Mr Landau, 63, said: “These figures are worrying and demonstrate a big jump. The people who come to us are dissatisfied because they don’t know who to go to, or are unhappy about how their case has been dealt with.

“Perpetrators are bullies and cowards; if organisations say they are aware of incidents, perpetrators are likely to realise their targets aren’t so isolated.”

In 2010, 173 incidents were recorded by Redbridge police, but this has leaped to 293 for the period of January to September 2014.

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The total number of offences reported since 2010 is 1,147.

Det Insp Ian Bowles said the racial and religious figures, obtained by the Recorder through a Freedom of Information request, could be attributed to an increase of the BME (black and minority ethnic) population and the reporting of offences.

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He said: “We have a small amount of crime motivated by deep racial hatred; what we see most are aggravated crimes.

“I have been here for 25 years and racial crime has always been treated with an extra vigour.”

This month the RECC held an awareness conference and Redbridge Council announced plans to pour £12,000 into projects for victims.

But Mr Landau believes organisations still have work to do.

“Some time ago the Redbridge Safer Communities Partnership put out leaflets all over the borough in different languages, but that sort of level of work on hate crime isn’t there anymore.

“We need to investigate offences, but there also needs to be an awareness in the community.”

Victims can call the police on 101 or contact the RECC’s hotline between 6pm and midnight on 07847 829991.

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