An in-depth study by charity Victim Support has concluded that many victims of hate crimes are unwilling to report them to the police.
Only one in five victims that did report incidents to the police were happy with the way they were treated.
The research uncovered that many police display a ‘nothing we can do’ attitude towards so-called low-level harassment.
In fact this type of persistent abuse can be the most damaging to victims.
Specialist dedicated hate crime officers, such as the gay liaison officers found in London, were most successful at dealing with victims in an appropriately sensitive manner.
Home Office research suggests that homophobic crime is severely under-reported, making it difficult for police to accurately assess the scale of the problem.
As reported by PinkNews,co.uk , in London there has been a sharp rise in the number of homophobic crimes reported to the Metropolitan police in the past year.
It is not clear if this rise is as a result of more hate crimes actually being committed against LGBT people.
Anecdotal evidence would suggest that increased confidence in the police among the gay community is behind the spike in reported crimes.