London: Racist and religious hate crime up 26% and almost 2,000 gang suspects arrested in last year

Anti-Semitic attacks rocketed across the UK in 2014 as the Israel and Gaza conflict continuedGetty

The Metropolitan Police service arrested almost 2,000 suspected gang members across London last year while racist and religious hate crime rocketed by nearly 26%.

Figures released by the force show that more than 1,910 gang members were arrested during the 2014/15 financial year with judges meting out jail sentences of more than 1,418 years for gang-related crime.

Met detectives have targeted organised crime across the capital and between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, a further 1,393 gang members were made subject to judicial restrictions including injunctions, ASBOs, electronic tagging or managed under licence. There are currently 1,023 gang members in custody.

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While the force has clamped down on gangs, overall crime in London increased. Racist and religious hate crime has increased by 25.7%, although the Met believes new crime recording and a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime is behind the hike.


Earlier this year the Community Security Trust said Jews across the UK suffered the most anti-Semitic abuse ever recorded in 2014 as violence in Israel and Gaza escalated.

The largest spike was in London, where the number of incidents rose by 137% to 583.

Rise in crime across capital

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The end of year results show there were 6,560 (+0.9%) more offences during the 12 months to March 31, 2015, compared to the previous year.

Cases of violence with injury were up by 18.9% (11,096 offences) - a third of which was made up of domestic abuse cases.

The total number of all sexual offences increased by 29% over the comparison period, with recorded rape offences up by 20% (857 offences) and other serious sexual offences up by 36% (1,885 offences).

It is thought the high profile Jimmy Savile scandal and subsequent Operation Yewtree was a major factor in increased confidence of victims to come forward.

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MPS deputy assistant commissioner for territorial policing, Mark Simmons, said: "We are moving in the right direction on some of the key neighbourhood crime categories with some very good reductions, as well as seeing some equally encouraging results in homicide and knife crime.

"However we are not complacent and acknowledge there is still much hard work to do. We will continue to keep up our intensified focus on areas such as violence with injury where we have seen a rise in recorded offences.

"I hope that Londoners will gain confidence from the improvements we have achieved and I'd like to assure them of our continuing commitment to making the capital an even safer place to live, work in, and visit."

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