Redbridge police officer says hate crime is ‘under reported’

Hate crime in Redbridge meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Hate crime in Redbridge meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford. - Credit: Rosaleen Fenton

Equality campaigners discussed hate crime against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) in the borough, on Wednesday night.

Pc Shaz Meah, Redbridge’s faith liaison and community officer, warned that many hate crime victims are not coming forward.

He said: “The statistics show that hate crime is one of the most under-reported crimes across the borough.

“It’s happening, but it is not being reported. I go around to churches, mosques and synagogues and they tell me about incidents, but when I look them up, nothing has been reported.

“We need more people to take the first step.”

The meeting, which was organised by the Redbridge Rainbow Community, saw police officers, Victim Support officers and members of the public discuss the issue.

Pc Meah said residents will always be directed to Victim Support services within the borough.

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“We can’t fill out the form without asking the person if they would like to have Victim Support informed,” he said.

“We have to record if they do, or don’t want their details forwarded.

“We can only do so much, we need people to come forward.”

At the meeting, David Landau, senior caseworker at Redbridge Equalities and Community Council, highlighted the post-Brexit increase in offences.

He said: “Part of the Brexit hate crime spike was people realising what a hate crime was.

“We had a few people come to us to report incidents and some of them had happened more than 18 months ago.

“People didn’t realise that what had happened to them is classed as a hate crime.”

David said more funding is needed to boost vital charities which offer support to victims.

He said: “We used to have funding to create victim support groups.

“Now, we are trying to get resources to be able to do things like that again.”