Northern Ireland police are homophobic to their colleagues, according to research.

The study, conducted by the Institute for Conflict Research, comes after reports of anti-gay attacks in the province. It reveals a prevalence of verbal abuse and humiliation in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), despite efforts to rid anti-gay discrimination in the region.

According to the study, lesbian and gay officers rarely come out to their colleagues, although those still not open about their sexuality sill face abuse. The study claims, that openly gay officers faced worse abuse.

Katy Radford of the ICR told the Press Association, “All of them to a man and woman came up with an extraordinarily damning experience they had from fellow colleagues, anything from verbal abuse to continual haranguing.”

Although the majority of lesbian and gay people were satisfied with the PSNI’s work, around 25% said they had suffered discrimination from officers based on their sexuality.

The study blames masculine culture for non acceptance of lesbian and gay officers.