UK police to receive 'clarified' guidance on hate crimes after row over protest

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasised that the police must use their powers to arrest those inciting violence or racial hatred.

(Photo: IANS)
(Photo: IANS)


Police in the UK will receive "clarified" guidance on hate crime after a row erupted over the Met's handing of a massive protest in London where thousands of participants came out in support of Palestine amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

More than 1,000 officers were involved in policing the demonstration on October 21 near Downing Street, and police made 34 arrests linked to possession of fireworks, public order and assaulting an emergency service worker, reports the BBC.

The Met estimated that up to 100,000 people had participated in the protest.

Ministers have called for tougher police action over a video appearing to show a man shouting "jihad" at a separate event from the main march.

But the Met Police said on Sunday it was taking no further action after footage appeared online of a man chanting "jihad, jihad" at the smaller rally staged by the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

It said the word jihad had "a number of meanings but we know the public will most commonly associate it with terrorism".

It said it "had not identified any offences arising from the specific clip", and specialist lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service had reached the same conclusion. The force is also planning no further action against protesters holding banners referring to "Muslim armies".

In the House of Commons on Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisted police already had "powers to arrest those inciting violence or racial hatred", the BBC reported.

Sunak said there was "no place on our streets for that type of behaviour".

The Homes Office is working "extensively to clarify the guidance to officers on the ground, so they are aware fully about the powers and tools that are available to them to make sure these people feel the force of the law", he added.

Several Ministers, including Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, have called for tougher policing of the protests. 

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