The operation has been timed to link in with today’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, known as White Ribbon Day, which is accompanied by 16 days of international activity to combat all forms of violence against women.
Today Met officers are proactively targeting dangerous and prolific suspected offenders for hate crimes as part of Operation Athena, now in its tenth year. As well as enforcement activity, partnership work is being carried out to raise awareness across London.
Whilst the main thrust of today’s action is to combat violence against women, it also encompasses all hate and faith crime. This includes racist, homophobic and disability motivated crime, as well as crimes against the vulnerable or elderly by members of their own family or carers. The aim is to transfer the fear on to the offender and encourage more victims to come forward and report to the police or through a third party.
The Met has been running Operation Athena days since the year 2000. Since 2006 they have taken place twice a year to coincide with the International Day against Homophobia in May and White Ribbon Day in November.
Last year’s operation in November saw more than 300 arrests and 170 of those individuals were subsequently charged or cautioned.
During Operation Athena Day on the May 18 this year more than two hundred people were arrested for a variety of offences including violence against the person, harassment and offences against property. Of these, more than 100 were either charged or cautioned.
Over this period of 16 days of international activity to combat violence against women the Met works closely with partners, specialist support services and community groups to reinforce ongoing work to protect and support the victims of violence.
Local borough officers are involved in initiatives to encourage all our communities, including those who traditionally have been harder to reach, to report crime either to the police or through third party or non-police reporting sites.
The Met takes a proactive approach to arresting those responsible for domestic violence and other hate crimes. The Met takes all complaints of crime seriously and will investigate all allegations to ensure effective outcomes for victims and affected communities.
The Met’s Community Safety Units continue to investigate complaints of domestic violence, hate crime and vulnerable adult abuse. With our partners we are able to provide victim support and crime prevention advice.
Effective partnerships are key to providing appropriate support and advice to victims of domestic abuse and the MPS is proud to work alongside many excellent agencies both statutory and voluntary to ensure that there is a holistic approach to keeping victims and their children safe and to hold abusers accountable for their actions.
Detective Superintendent Darren Williams, the head of the Public Protection Unit, said: "The Met police are committed to tackling violence in all its forms and aim to intervene at the earliest opportunities to protect and support victims of both sexes and make the perpetrators accountable. We are taking a proactive approach in order to bring those responsible to justice and support the victims of these heinous crimes. We are encouraging third party reporting and are developing stronger links with communities most at risk.
"We know that these types of crime are still under reported and we will continue to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of communities so that victims feel that they can come forward. My key message to victims of these offences is tell us what is happening so we can help you but if you can’t tell the police – tell someone."
The Deputy Mayor for Policing Kit Malthouse said: "There is no place in London for domestic violence and those arrested this morning found out first hand. The Met take this crime very seriously and we are grateful to all those officers involved in this important operation. I want to reassure Londoners that there is zero tolerance in the capital for these cowardly crimes and all perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly and severely. "