Channel 1 Los Angeles
- Sadiq joins forces with Google.org to invest £800,000 to fight intolerance and extremism in the capital
- New City Hall figures reveal that the majority of hate crimes increased over the last six years
- Sadiq takes action to build on support for communities in London as the UK prepares to leave the EU on 31 January
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today launched a new £800,000 fund, with support from Google.org, to empower communities to tackle violent extremism and a rise in hate crime offences in the capital.
Sadiq launched the programme at Google offices with £400,000 investment from City Hall, match-funded by Google.org – Google’s philanthropy. The new fund, run in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), will be invested in local communities and grassroots groups because evidence shows they are best placed to counter hate, intolerance and extremism. Organisations will have the opportunity to bid for grants up to £50,000.
The tragic deaths of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones in the London Bridge terror attack in November last year are evidence of the significant threat the capital faces from violent extremism. The Mayor is determined to continue to lead from the front and do everything possible to keep Londoners safe, and the fund is part of a new £1m investment the Mayor made after delivering the first ever London Countering Violent Extremism programme.
Racist hate crime offences have risen by 56 per cent in the last six years with more than 17,000 racist hate crime offences reported in 2019. Homophobic and Islamophobic hate crime offences have also doubled in that period with anti-Semitism also rising alongside transgender hate crime.*
With the UK set to leave the EU at the end of January, this action from Sadiq builds on support for communities in London that experienced hate crime following the 2016 Brexit referendum when offences reported to police almost doubled.
It also comes at a time when Metropolitan police figures show more than 9,000 hate crimes have been reported over the last five years**. Recent incidents include anti-Semitic graffiti in Hampstead and Belsize Park in late December and MOPAC stats show an increase in anti-Semitism in London last month.
The Mayor has been clear that all tech firms need to do more to ensure their platforms and tools are not used to promote hate and intolerance or fundraise for extremism. Flagging harmful content on social media platforms needs to be made easier and it needs to be spotted and removed faster.
The Mayor is also today launching a new network of civil society groups who wish to stand up to hate and extremism. Groups will be invited to join and benefit from free capacity-building opportunities and best practice information sharing, irrespective of how successful they are in bidding for this fund.
Sadiq’s funding is on top of the £6m he has already invested in tackling all forms of hate – more than any other Mayor – and is the next phase of his Countering Violent Extremism programme, set up in 2017.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Extremism, intolerance and hate crime of any kind has absolutely no place in our city and I have worked closely with the police and all communities across London as we battle against this scourge.
“Sadly, we have also too often seen extremism on our streets with the horrific terror attack in London Bridge in November last year – as well as homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents. We know that leaving the EU will raise tensions and bring new challenges – that is why it is so vital we empower our communities to help deliver change now.
“Violent extremism is one of the biggest threats facing London and our country. We simply must do better at working together to safeguard the vulnerable and stop people from promoting these vile ideologies with such horrific consequences.”
Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC said: “Keeping the online community safe is our top priority. As part of this commitment, Google.org supports solutions that fight hate and extremism at a local level which help foster positive change in the UK. We believe communities and grassroots programmes are an incredibly important part of the effort to encourage collaboration, cooperation, and sensitivity across London. We are pleased to support the Shared Endeavour Fund to tackle extremism and hate in our capital and look forward to working closely with the Mayor of London and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.”
Sasha Havlicek, Founding CEO, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a delivery partner said: “The challenges of hate and extremism are best understood and tackled by the communities that suffer their harms. But they can’t do the job alone. In order for the response to be effective, community groups need to be given the tools and resources to stand up to hate, including access to data, information, funding, communication and technology support, as well as investment in new forms of leadership and innovation. London’s thriving business sector is uniquely positioned to offer this support as well as to build purpose-driven, inclusive business practices that benefit workforces and the diverse, vibrant communities that define London.”
Ben Coles, Director of Development and Strategic Programmes, Groundwork London said: “As a charity working across communities in London we know just how valuable grant programmes like the Mayor’s ‘Shared Endeavour Fund’ are for third sector organisations and their communities, enabling them to take action on the important issues they are facing. Grassroots organisations know better than anyone what communities need and are vital to successfully addressing the pressing challenges that we face as a city. We look forward to working with the Mayor of London, Google.org and the grant beneficiaries to deliver a successful programme.”