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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Nearly 150 people arrested in London hate-crime raids (UK)

Police have arrested 147 people across London in dawn raids to tackle domestic violence and hate crimes.

Suspects were arrested for offences ranging from violence and common assault to breach of court orders.

Raids took place on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day.

They were part of the Metropolitan Police's (Met's) Operation Athena, where officers target suspected hate-crime offenders.

'Cowardly crimes'
 While focusing on violence against women, the raids also targeted suspected racist, homophobic and disability motivated crime, as well as crimes against the vulnerable or elderly.

"We are taking a proactive approach in order to bring those responsible to justice and support the victims of these heinous crimes," said Det Supt Darren Williams, head of the Met's public protection unit.

"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."

London's 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.

"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."

BBC News