The attack in Israel and escalation of conflict along the border with Gaza in recent days, in which many innocent people have lost their lives, has had a very real impact on people in our city.
Londoners will see more police officers on the streets across the Capital to reassure and protect communities, particular those who have been affected
We are aware that this conflict has a far reaching impact on communities around the world, and we extend our full support to those affected in London. We are listening and working with communities, – including the Jewish and Muslim communities, and partners and charities to ensure people feel safe and protected. We ask that members of the public report anything concerning, such as threatening behaviour. As part of our increased reassurance policing patrols across key areas of London, we have also been in touch with synagogues, mosques, and businesses to discuss their concerns and provide them with safety advice.
A small number of community tension related incidents in different parts of London have been reported and highlighted on social media. Police attended all of the incidents and were able to resolve them without arrests being made.
We are clear that Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and any other racial and faith-based discrimination will not be tolerated. There is no place for hatred in our society and anyone who has been subjected to hate crime should not suffer in silence – we would urge any victims, members of the public or people feeling vulnerable to report it to the police, either by calling 101 (999 in an emergency) or online through the True Vision web site at www.report-it.org.uk .
We are also aware of concerns being raised about flags and other symbols being displayed in a way that could lead to people feeling threatened. The waving of a particular flag is not, in itself, a specific criminal offence unless it relates to a proscribed organisation. For example, the waving of the Palestinian flag is not an offence.
Officers will however, always need to consider the wider circumstances and will need to judge whether or not other public order offences may be relevant. We have reminded people that it is a terrorism offence to display flags, banners and images associated with proscribed organisations. Anyone who wears, carries, or displays an item in any way that gives rise to a reasonable suspicion that they are a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation may commit an offence under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act. Officers will remove such items and robustly and thoroughly investigate such criminal offences.
A number of demonstrations and protests have taken place or are planned in the city We are in liaison with the organisers and an appropriate policing plan is in place that balances right to lawful protest against any disruption to Londoners, while ensuring all communities are supported and reassured. We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate, but even if the protest is peaceful and non-violent, this doesn’t always mean the actions taken by those protestors are legal. So we ask that people continue to work with officers at this challenging time to ensure peace in our communities is maintained. While officers will police the protests primarily to ensure protests pass off peacefully and lawfully, we will as always act if it is suspected that a criminal offence has been committed and will have zero tolerance for any act of hate crime.
Anyone with concerns, or who has witnessed any offences, should contact police and report on www.met.police.uk , on 101, or call 999 in an emergency.