The Theresa May government on Monday announced the setting up of a new national hub to improve the tackling of online hate crimes by police so that victims are supported and the number of prosecutions increased.
The hub, run by officers for the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), will work to ensure online cases are managed effectively and efficiently, the home office said. The hub is expected to ensure all online cases are properly investigated.
Home secretary Amber Rudd said: “Online hate crime is completely unacceptable. What is illegal offline is illegal online, and those who commit these cowardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law.
“The national online hate crime hub that we are funding is an important step to ensure more victims have the confidence to come forward and report the vile abuse to which they are being subjected. The hub will also improve our understanding of the scale and nature of this despicable form of abuse.”
The mandate of the hub, expected to be operational by the end of 2017, includes seeking to identify the perpetrator, and referring cases to online platforms hosting external content, such as social media companies, so that hateful material can be removed.
It will also feed any intelligence into the wider National Intelligence Model, the police data base that gathers intelligence on a wide range of crimes, to guide policing strategies and inform priorities of security forcesT