Our response following the homophobic incident in Clapham High Street
Cllr Fajana-Thomas OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, responds to the homophobic incident in Clapham High Street:
You will no doubt be aware of the horrendous attack on members of the LGBTQIA+ community at the Two Brewers bar and nightclub in Clapham High Street last week.
The police are treating this as a homophobic attack. This will hopefully reassure members of the community that this has been identified and is being dealt with accordingly.
This savage attack brings a stark reminder of the work needed to be done to deal with perpetrators who hold attitudes not in keeping with the majority of law-abiding citizens across London.
It is also a reminder of the importance of the work we all need to do to support all of our community who may be targeted in this way because of who they are or are perceived to be. I’m pleased to say this work is already underway in Hackney.
In Hackney we have a vibrant night time economy. We want our community to enjoy the opportunities available to them without the fear of being attacked, insulted or terrorised by the few that seek to create fear and threaten violence to our diverse community members.
We are working with determination to ensure we do all we can to engage our community members in the work we are doing with our Hate Crime Strategy and directly with our Night Time Economy venues.
There were concerns from the LGBTQIA+ community in Hackney following this incident, and we have taken actions to reassure the community. Actions include:
Reassuring the community after the weekend, including at Dalston pubwatch last Wednesday, which was attended by the LGBTQ Police Officer to give a full update on the situationDiscussing the attack at a community safety partnership weekly tasking meeting Arranging joint reassurance patrols with the council’s enforcement officers and policeChecking in with all local LGBTQIA+ venues over the weekendCommunicating with over 300 bars, pubs and clubsCirculating photos of the suspect in coordination with the Met Police Asking venues to take online training to help train their staff Advertising our new LGBTQIA+ welfare training scheduled for September (a link to which is online)
We will continue to monitor the situation and the venues will be connected to CCTV via the radio scheme, most of the LGBTQIA+ venues use this resource already.
We will soon hold our local Hate Crime Forum meeting and we wish to invite members of our community across all our protected characteristics to ensure they are part of the conversation and help inform us of the work we as a Council can do to support victims and survivors of hate incidents/crimes. Our partnership with the local police is determined to stamp out such behaviours but sadly we know that some people will still demonstrate their bias and behaviour against innocent members of our community.
We stand in solidarity with our community in South West London as we do with our communities in Hackney and are steadfast in working with our community to deal effectively with the task we know is ahead of us and protect our citizens as best we can, by dealing effectively with offenders, ensuring the heaviest sanctions are applied.
We want to send a clear message that Hackney is a No Place for Hate but need your support and involvement to make sure we hear your concerns and ideas to make the improvements that we can to protect you as best we can and to respond appropriately and effectively when this is required.
If you are interested in supporting our Hate Crime Strategy and the work we are doing to address Hate incidents and crimes across Hackney, please contact our Hate Crime Lead Officer Bennett Obong at firstname.lastname@example.org.