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Hate Crime Police Raid 150 Homes By: BBC News
BBC News | Thursday, November 14, 2002

Police investigating allegations of racism, homophobia and domestic violence have raided about 150 addresses across London.

At least 83 people have been arrested after officers from the Metropolitan Police's community safety unit took part in the dawn raids on Wednesday.

Twenty-seven people have been charged, including one for rape but most have been arrested on suspicion of making racist threats and of homophobic harassment.

The raids signal the start of a day of police action against "hate crime" - offences against people on the grounds of their race, faith, religion, disability, or sexuality. osters in newspapers and on the Tube and trains urging victims of hate crime to come forward are running as part of a two-week campaign by the Metropolitan Police.

Commander Cressida Dick, director of the Diversity Directorate, denied the operation was simply a publicity stunt.

She said: "We want the offenders who hate, hurt and harm others to know the Met will do everything in its power to find them out and put a stop to their crime.

"People should not have to go through life being subjected to abuse because of who they are or what they believe in."

The raids will be followed up by a day of activities to raise awareness of the Met's community safety units, which deal with hate crime.

Officers will take a mobile hate-crime reporting centre into the heart of London's gay community in Old Compton Street, Soho.

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