Gay hate crime convictions in Wales have doubled in the last three years, figures from the Crown Prosecution Service show.

According the BBC, the statistics show there were 58 successful prosecutions last year compared with 29 in 2006.

Although there has not been a significant increase in the number of homophobic incidents reported to police, the number of cases taken up by the CPS has been rising.

South Wales Police, which recorded the majority of homophobic hate crime incidents between 2006 and 2008, said it had received reports of 290 incidents last year compared with 274 in 2006.

Jenny Porter, community liaison officer for Stonewall Cymru, said: “I hope that this great news will encourage lesbian, gay and bisexual people across Wales to report homophobic incidents to the police.

“And to have confidence in the criminal justice system that they will follow through to the end.”

Chris Woolley, group chair for the Wales CPS, said: “These statistics show we are moving in the right direction.

“Although we are still some way short of ensuring that all lesbian, gay and bisexual people feel confident enough to report these very damaging crimes.”