London mayor Sadiq Khan has been criticised after it was revealed that just six internet trolls were brought to justice by his £1.7million ‘Twitter squad’.
The Online Hate Crime Hub was launched more than two years ago and it is staffed by five Scotland Yard officers, including a senior detective.
It was given £1.7million in public money and in two years, the police unit has brought just six trolls to justice.
Officers dealt with a total of 1,612 cases, about two a day over the two years the project ran and the unit has had a handful of successful prosecutions. While one offender was given a suspended jail sentence, others escaped with community orders, restraining order and fines.
London police and crime committee member Susan Hall said it was an “exercise in spin over substance”.
She added: “This is money that could have been used to invest in additional police officers and protect Londoners from a whole host of crimes.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Khan said the Online Hate Crime Hub helped “support victims”, adding: “The Met has made huge progress in tackling all forms of hate crime but it’s clear more needs to be done.”
The online crime hub was launched by the London mayor’s office for policing and crime (Mopac) after a consultation on crime reduction had identified the increasing role social media played in targeting individuals and communities.
Social media provided perpetrators a veil of anonymity, and it made it harder to bring them to justice, the consultation found.