I've never been involved nor had a friend involved with a hate crime before. I didn't know what to expect or how that would feel. I've read stories in the news. I've read about 'The Sophie Lancaster Foundation' online. In fact, I first heard of it because of my friend Mika. On 13 July, Mika went out with one of his best friends - a girl who dresses alternatively and has a lot of tattoos. They were in a chicken shop in Soho when a couple of guys took a disliking to her alternative look. They threatened to stab her because of the way she was dressed, Mika stood in and was beaten so badly, he now has a fracture in his face.
Victims of crime should be allowed the right to appeal to an independent body - such as the new local safer neighbourhood boards being introduced in London - if the police decide not to investigate their crime. Clear standards should be set so that we know why investigations are dropped.
It's not all good news, though, because, and again I quote: "Reported rape and sexual assault cases increased by 10 per cent compared to 2011-12. The three countries in which the largest number of cases were reported were Spain, Turkey and Greece."
"Good riddance" will be the understandable reaction of many to Abu Qatada's departure from these shores. But we should be wary of those politicians led by Theresa May and including David Cameron, who seek to make capital of the legal obstacles that prevented Abu Qatada's forced expulsion...
It is serious enough if police fail to investigate a major crime or mishandle something which leads to the deaths of innocent people - to then try to damage the reputation of the family and friends or the victims to cover up failings is a dreadful and cynical thing to do and we should not tolerate it.
I began my career in journalism with a number of ambitions. They did not include striking up a correspondence with a serial killer. Yet little over a year into my first posting, with a leading freelance news agency, I was asked to become the point of contact for a man whose very name continues to anger and unsettle...
The school summer holidays are fast approaching. Many children and young people in these last few days of the academic year will be eagerly anticipating six weeks of carefree fun with their families and friends. But for some girls this year's summer break will mean leaving the UK to have their external genitals cut away or severely injured as part of a tradition practised in at least 28 countries world-wide.
There's often a lot of talk of victims 'having their day in court'. Sometimes, though, it's far easier said than done. On Thursday, six young women watched the men who subjected them to nothing short of modern day slavery go to prison for 95 years.
Social media users beware: you cannot tweet with impunity. Social media has made publishing vastly easier, but it has not made publishing responsibility free. And while the law was caught sleeping, it is now clear: the criminal and civil can come after you and hold you to account. Ignorance is no defense. So take note.
My point is, if our schools are to remain more than institutions of academia, if we want them to remain the backbone of our communities and a moral compass as well as an educational one, then we need to open up our schools to the support and involvement of local communities and organizations looking to do just that.
The longer it takes for Wikipedia volunteers to spot this, the more opportunity marketers will have for creating loops and false verifications. History won't be re-written, it'll be lied into existence.
Some people say Britain is a responsible, tolerant country, proud of its multicultural heritage. I don't see it. I see the national press and an alarming amount of people willing to demonize the faith of 1.4 billion people because of the actions of a very small minority.
Of course, the country must be eternally vigilant against crimes against minorities, especially acts of reprisal and retaliation. As I've argued elsewhere, there is a real threat of Islamists and far-right activists feeding a cycle of mutually reinforcing violence. But it would be terrible to allow extremists to portray the UK as an anti-Islamic country, feeding the 'us and them' narrative. It is simply not the case. It is equally true that groups like the EDL need to know the feeling is mutual: surveys have found British Muslims are the most patriotic group in the UK.
It's estimated that around three in four convicted offenders use indecent images of children to stimulate themselves sexually, to lower the inhibitions of their victims or to teach the child to copy the activity in real-life situations. So what can be done?
We all know crime doesn't pay, but we increasingly expect it to pay back. Of course the true cost of crime isn't financial: it's the pain and misery caused to innocent victims and communities. Yet at the moment criminals contribute less than one pound in every six to supporting victims. This balance is utterly wrong and it needs to change now.
In November 2012, BBC's "Newsnight" broadcast a report making serious allegations against 'a leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years'. A frenzy of speculation followed on social media sites, with Mrs Bercow tweeting to her 56,400 followers: Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*. Lord McAlpine commenced libel action claiming damages over the Tweet.