Operation Athena raids

21 May 2008

New Scotland Yard

The Metropolitan Police Service has this morning 21 May 2008 carried out raids across London to tackle domestic, homophobic and race hate crime.

Operation Athena is running to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and is designed to put the focus on the offenders, and bring them to justice.

"We have community safety units in every London borough who are dedicated to the investigation of these crimes, and 213 LGBT liaison officers."

Police will be proactively targeting dangerous and prolific offenders across the 32 boroughs, as well as carrying out high visibility patrols, and working with Safer Neighbourhoods teams to encourage victims to come forward and report to us, or through a third party.

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.

Hate and faith crime includes racist, homophobic and disability motivated crime, as well as crimes against the vulnerable or elderly by members of their own family or carers.

A/Detective Superintendent Gerry Campbell, heading Operation Athena, said:

"Athena is now in its eighth year, and we remain committed to improving our service to victims of domestic violence, homophobic and race hate crime, and identifying, taking on, arresting and prosecuting perpetrators of this violence.

"We have community safety units in every London borough who are dedicated to the investigation of these crimes, and 213 LGBT liaison officers.

"Today's operation sends out a clear message that violence in any form is unacceptable. We do not require a statement from a victim in order to arrest and charge a perpetrator.

"Through engaging and understanding the needs of all London's many diverse communities, we remain committed to being an employer of choice and an organisation for everyone."

Latest figures are that there have been 198 arrests across 29 boroughs.