Page last updated at 02:55 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 03:55 UK

Police arrest 198 over hate crime

Police have arrested 198 people on suspicion of domestic, homophobic and race hate crimes after raids across London, Scotland Yard have said.

Operation Athena targeted prolific offenders and took place on Wednesday to mark last Saturday's International Day Against Homophobia.

Police also said they would carry out patrols to encourage victims to report hate crimes to officers.

It is the eighth year the Metropolitan Police has run the operation.

Det Supt Gerry Campbell, head of Operation Athena, said: "We have community safety units in every London borough who are dedicated to the investigation of these crimes, and 213 LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual and transgender) liaison officers.

"Yesterday's operation sends out a clear message: Violence in any form is unacceptable.

"We do not require a statement from a victim in order to arrest and charge a perpetrator."




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