Birmingham & Black Country

Khalid Mahmood MP calls for new hate crime panel

A West Midlands MP is calling for a independent group to be set up to investigate reports of hate crimes.

Khalid Mahmood says the existence of a specialist group might encourage people to report hate crimes formally instead of on social media.

The group would include representatives from West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.

Police have stressed there has been no rise in hate crime in the region since the EU referendum.

Mr Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said: "We need to work properly to be able to ensure all the community is safe.

"By setting up this group people can report directly to the police instead of going through other social media avenues."

While some areas of the country have seen a sharp rise in reports of hate crime in the wake of the referendum, West Midlands Police says there has been no obvious rise in incidents.

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire presenter Trish Adudu revealed she had been racially abused in the street by a man who told her to "go home".

An arson attack on a Walsall halal butchers was found not to be a racial hate crime after initial investigations.

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