A specialist Metropolitan police unit is being set up to investigate online hate crimes, including abuse on Twitter and Facebook.
The new team will consist of five officers, whose role will be to identify online abuse and support victims.
So far The Home Office have contributed £452,000 to the scheme, which is anticipated to cost £1.7m in total.
The team will begin on a two-year trial basis, and will be set up in the next few months.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime stated in an interview that he believes 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.
With the creation of this new police unit, the perpetrators of hate crimes can be located and they can be dealt with using the appropriate force. The team will also assist in training police officers and community groups in how to identify, report and challenge abuse.
This is the first time that a dedicated police team has been set up solely to deal with hate crimes, and with such crimes on the rise, it seems fitting for a specialist group to be put in place.