In an effort to clamp down on rising online hate speech, the London Police is set to unveil the “Online Hate Crime Hub”. Its aim is to “improve the police response, capability and intelligence to facilitate countermeasures that can reduce and prevent further criminal activity and victimization; ensure victims are effectively identified and receive timely support; and build community capacity to respond collectively to online hate.”
The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime said, “Social media provides hate crime perpetrators with a veil of anonymity, making it harder to bring them to justice and potentially impacting on a larger number of people”. Victims of online hate crime can become isolated and can end up living in fear of the threats they receive.
The team will consist of five specialist officers including a Detective Inspector, a Detective Sergeant, and three Detective Constables. The officers will identify the online abuse, identify the location of the crime and then allocate them to the appropriate police force. The London Police will also be working with a team of volunteers who are proficient social media users and will be able to respond appropriately to online hate material. The training will also be delivered in partnership with social media providers.
Earlier this week, Pakistan’s own Cyber Crime Bill came into effect after being passed by the National Assembly. The bill criminalizes online harassment, cyber-terrorism amongst other offences.