Galop has said it will use £300,000 funding from London’s councils to improve its advice service for victims of homophobic hate crime.

Galop is a safety charity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Its advice service (the Shoutline) provides advice and detailed advocacy services to clients who have experienced hate crime or have experienced problems with the police, including homophobia.

Theirs was one of five projects supporting the victims of hate crimes and promoting social cohesion have been given a total of £800,000 by London Councils.

Galop is able to take reports of homophobic or transphobic hate crimes and sexual abuse and pass them onto the police through a third party reporting scheme.

In this way, victims are not obliged to speak to the police or give out any personal details in order for incidents to be recorded and investigated.

Crime Concern will receive £175,752 over four years to work with community groups, local councils and other agencies to raise awareness of race and hate crimes in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in London.

Racist crime was the most commonly reported hate crime in London in 2006/07, with 9,976 reports.

There were 1,184 reports of homophobic crime and 696 incidents of faith crimes.

Chairman of London Councils Grants Committee, Councillor Paul McCannah, said:

“Our capital can lay claim to being the most diverse city ever, more than 300 languages are spoken by the people of London and one in four of all civil partnerships in the UK in the past few years have taken place in London.

“Local authorities have a duty to ensure that people from all cultures and lifestyles have their health, safety and welfare equally protected.

“So these grants will fund projects that will be a driving force in challenging and changing the ways all public services work with communities.

“The funding package will also raise awareness hate crimes, tackle the ignorance and prejudice of those who perpetrate the crimes and provide help and support to anyone who is the victim of these crimes.”

To contact Galop for help you can called the Shoutline on 020 7704 2040 or fill in an anonymous reporting form on their site.

For more information about Galop please visit www.galop.org.uk.