Raids across London have been carried out by the Metropolitan Police as part of an operation to crackdown on hate crime
A number of officers simultaneously raided properties across the city at about 0000 BST on Tuesday. Seventy-seven people have been arrested for a range of offences including serious assault and harassment. More arrests are expected to be made later. The action comes a day after the International Day Against Homophobia.
The raids are aimed at bringing hate crime offenders to justice. Police are particularly focusing their attentions on homophobic and domestic violence within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Between March 2009 and April 2010 there were 51,839 domestic violence offences, 9,914 racial offences and 1,336 homophobic offences committed in London. To crack down on such offences the Met has about 230 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison officers supporting police work.
Det Supt Darren Williams said: "Today's operations represent part of the proactive approach the MPS take to bring those responsible to justice. We know that all hate crime is under reported and this remains a challenge for us. We will continue to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of all communities so that victims feel that they can come forward and tell police. My message to all victims is that if you feel you can't tell the police - tell someone."