Police are getting serious about targeting online trolls with a new specialist team
A new team of specialist police officers is being set up to target trolls who commit hate crimes online.
The Online Hate Crime Hub will include a dedicated team of officers who will support victims and receive technology training to identify offenders.
The Home Office will fund £450,000 of the project, which will cost £1.7 million over two years.
The London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) said a consultation on crime reduction had identified the increasing role that online hate played in targeting individuals and communities.
The consultation found that social media provided hate crime perpetrators with a veil of anonymity, making it harder to bring them to justice and potentially impacting on a larger number of people.
It also found that the police response to online hate crime is inconsistent, primarily because police officers are not equipped to tackle it.
The team, including one detective inspector, one detective sergeant and three detective constables, will identify the location of crimes and allocate them to the appropriate force.
They will also aim to develop links with volunteers, who will report both criminal and non-criminal online hate incidents.