As the conflict in the Middle East continues, we are very aware of how these events continue to affect our communities here in Barnet. Given the strength of feeling it is no surprise that groups and individuals want to make their voices heard through protest, which is their legal right.
The Met has facilitated protest both in central London and in other locations to allow marches to go ahead safely and lawfully. The laws surrounding protest are clear, individuals can support causes; but hate speech and support for terrorism will lead to arrest.
This weekend has a special significance as we pause in silence to remember the sacrifice of servicemen and women in service to our country and I can reassure Barnet residents that the Metropolitan Police Service has a significant policing plan in place to keep everyone safe both locally in Barnet and in all other London Boroughs.
There has been much discussion in the press about how these events can go ahead on the same weekend, we will work to ensure that remembrance services are respected and protests can be held lawfully.
Since 7 October we have continued to see increased reporting of hate crimes in London, particularly amongst the Jewish and Muslim communities. This is deeply concerning, and we have been working proactively with religious and community groups to take a zero tolerance approach.
As ever we will always be on hand to respond to reports of crime at any time, and I urge anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward and report it, either online or via 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Together we can make Barnet a safe place for everyone.
Acting BCU Commander NW