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Football-related hate crime on rise in London

Campaign group Kick it Out received a record 1,007 reports of discriminatory behaviour across the country in the 2022/23 season, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Metropolitan Police officers in London (credit Met Police)
Metropolitan Police officers in London (credit Met Police)

Almost 100 football-related hate crimes have been recorded in London in the space of a year, new data has revealed.

Met Police statistics showed that there were 96 hate crimes at stadiums and other football-related settings between November 2022 and October 2023.

Offences covered by the hate crime definition include racism, homophobia, and hate directed at people due to their gender, faith or disability.

The figures were requested by Unmesh Desai, a Labour member of the London Assembly, who urged fans “to call out and report hate wherever they come across it”.

The number of incidents peaked in February 2023, when 29 offences were recorded – more than 30% of the total. By contrast, only one incident was recorded in December 2022.

Desai, who represents Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and the ‘square mile’ of the City of the London, said: “No-one can deny the importance of football in London – it’s part of the lifeblood of our city.

“It’s crucial that we do not tolerate behaviour which makes fans feel unsafe supporting their teams […] We cannot let hate turn the beautiful game ugly.


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“I want to commend the work of clubs across London taking action to tackle hate crime, particularly Millwall and Dagenham and Redbridge who have made great strides.”

He added: “I’m urging fans to call out and report hate wherever they come across it so that police and club management can step in. Together, we can hold to account those using football to push hate.”

Kick it Out, the charity working to combat discrimination in football, said that they had received a record 1,007 reports of discriminatory behaviour across the country in the 2022/23 season.

This total – which includes reports from the professional game, in grassroots and across social media – represents a 65.1% rise on the previous season, the charity said.

They added that racism remains the most common form of discrimination in both professional and grassroots football, accounting for just under half (49.3%) of all reports they had received, while reports related to sexism and misogyny represented the largest rise in a specific discrimination type.

Hate crimes can be reported to the Met Police on its website here. To report a discriminatory incident to Kick it Out:
Visit: kickitout.org/report


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