London, England — Scotland Yard is planning to set aside $2.2 million to create a “troll-hunting” division to stop online hate crime. The new unit known as the “Online Hate Crime Hub” will initially receive $600,000 of direct funding from Scotland Yard’s Home Office. The hub’s intended mission is to support victims and identify offenders using advanced techniques in computer and network forensics.
The London Mayor’s office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) stated that online hate crime has a detrimental impact on individuals and communities. Furthermore, MOPAC says it’s conducting an extensive study on crime reduction which reveals that social media plays a huge role in giving an outlet to hate-crime perpetrators who post offensive messages and bully people, under the garb of anonymity.
In its statement, the MOPAC said, “The Metropolitan police service is committed to working with our partners, including the mayor, to tackle all types of hate crime including offenses committed online,”.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service added,
“By establishing this unit, we are sending a strong message to those who use online forums to spread hate that their actions will not be tolerated. The Metropolitan police service continues to have a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of hate crime. The Met encourages all victims of hate crime to report any incident to the police and will make every effort to hold offenders to account and bring them to justice.”
MOPAC added that the current methods police use to tackle online hate crime is not consistent nor effective, because police officers were not trained correctly to tackle such crimes. But under the new unit agenda, the investigation team will include one detective inspector, one detective sergeant and three detective constables to zero in on the crime’s location and then take appropriate action.
The team also aims to enlist the support of volunteers who can report both criminal and non-criminal hate related incidents.