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Police ‘concern’ over gay murders and rise in homophobic hate crimes

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  1. This report should jolt those head-in-the-sand gay PinkNews readers who constantly post comments indicating that they think all is well and wonderful for gays and lesbians in current-day Britain, no need for any concern or agitation.

  2. The Gov’t needs to equalize all rights ASAP. Not the answer to violence but the sooner the message can start to drip down that everyone is equal, the better. I’d be interested to see comparisons to racial motivated violent crime too.

  3. Lezabella 1 Jun 2009, 1:32pm

    It makes me feel sick to read stories like this.

  4. So why are these not higher profile in the TV media? If its black gangs or stabbings we hear all about how dreadful it is! Is this a media form of homophobia ie well its only a few poofs getting wasted? Most Str8 people don’t realise what LGBT people have to put up with; surely its time to have our decent st8 friends informed and enlightened!

  5. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 2:51pm

    Sick is not the word, it’s revolting, nauseating.

    These are incredible statistics although the police work after the fact is encouraging.

    Does anyone have any idea why homophobic hate crimes are on the rise in England?

  6. Section 28 led to children growing up in an educational environment where homophobia was supported and those children are now young adults committing homophobic crime. Even if there was the political will to genuinely challenge institutionalised homophobia in the education system it would still take a generation to filter through.

  7. The fact is most hate crimes against LGBT are not reported. These statistics are only the tip of the iceberg and unless we start reporting incidents however small it will not get any better.

  8. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 4:00pm

    Here in Canada, school books can be seen in public libraries. I have taken a look at sex education programs and I wish I had had such a healthy perspective on sexual orientation taught to me when I was in primary school. Beautiful illustrations and all.

    I’m not familiar with section 28, tony, but the way you describe it makes it sound like an excellent target to me. Do you mean to say that parents’ support institutionalised homophobia? A generation indeed.

    Sounds to me like the schools are swimming against the current of 21st century respect for diversity. Why is that?

  9. One need look no further than the continuing protected homophobic attitudes & practises within the police force against gay people to understand ‘why’ people think they can attack gay people with impunity.

    When myself & a friend were attacked, whilst my friend was still bleeding, lying on the floor, the police ‘assisted’ the positively identified assailants into a taxi!!! When my friend told the police he though it was a ‘homophobic assault’ he was told to “shut up, be quiet, you don’t want to say that”.

    …but then this is what we have come to expect from the Cornwall police!

  10. I was told by a pcso recently to “play down the gay thing”. Before we start looking in the streets we need to look in the [police forces around the counrty first.

  11. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 4:59pm

    Astounding, all the more so because I do believe you.

    So, is it safe to say there exists a different set of attitudes from one city to another? Homophobic attitudes and practises within the police force sound so alien to anything I’ve experienced.

    Also, it contradicts the topic at hand: Police concern over gay murders.

    It is such a challenge to piece it all together.

    It sounds as if some cities have an informed police force while others are no better than hooligans. Something fishy there.

  12. I would in my experince think that figure is only a small amount of the crimes, in the end with the attitude of the police most cases dont get reported .like the one who told me I was a joke you keep battering away at reporting a crime even when you have evidence nothing gets done they would rather sit in thier vans catching easy meat fast cars

  13. Concerned, my ass!
    Currently a quarter of lesbian and
    gay people believe they would be treated worse by the police than any other
    victim if they reported a homophobic hate crime.
    Once the New Equality Bill becomes
    law, the police would actively have to tackle this perception and ensure that
    people feel comfortable revealing their orientation.
    Since 2004 I have campaigned
    against the police to change their procedures, but the Police have dug their
    heel’s in and have refused to change anything.
    The New Equality Bill will change

    their homophobic procedures
    !

  14. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 6:27pm

    The Equality Bill is presently in the House of Lords, is it not?

    Here we go again, then.

    With 26 bishops (who are possibly homophobic) in the Lords….

    Is there a way I can inform myself regarding the actual status of the Bill, Craig?

    If what you say is true, and I’ve heard bits and pieces of it before, police brutality in the UK sounds somewhat American.

    In the States though, it is legal to protect yourself against homophobia using a loaded weapon, or by a concerted effort, e.g. Harvey Milk.

    I wonder what Peter Tatchell is saying about this issue.

    Also, I wonder if this issue is of any concern in he upcoming UK & EU elections?

  15. Here we go again. The lefties kick off again harking back to 30 years ago and Section 28. Who is your leader? Arthur Scargill? For fuck’s sakes get out of your socialist Ben-Elton fucking time warp!

    We have a problem, so everyone addresses the situation, except the lefties that continue as always to blame Thatcher. Why don’t you blame Archbishop Ferdinand of Sarajevo while you are at it?

    I for one think a major factor in the rise of homophobia is the increase in Eastern European and West Indian immigrants, who are both notoriously homophobic. It’s interesting to note that the perpetrators of these attacks are rarely mentioned, and their nationality is blatant by it’s very omission.

  16. I also question why many of the gay media do very little to highlight this vile crime -look in any of the mags all you see is white underpants and cheesy grins. Nothing wrong in that ,but there is another to gay life which is not always given a airing. These figure are only the one we KNOW about there ARE many homophobic crimes which are NOT reported

    Lee
    gayhate.com

  17. With historically c.90% of homophobic and transphobic hate crime going unreported, we need to be very careful with statistics. A year-on-year increase in recorded hate crime MAY be good news indicating that efforts to increase reporting are actually be working. It would be helpful to understand more about the 63% increase in Manchester, is it more reporting, more accurate recording (flagging) or an increase in underlying crime?

  18. this highlights how unsafe all LGBT are these days. I’ve been around for a long time and it’s only in the last few years I’ve felt so hated and make a conscious effort to hide my sexuality in too many situations.
    sorry bit the rise in immigrants who see gays as easy targets using their religious beliefs or just their sheer ignorance as an excuse for hatred scares the shit out of me.
    I can see us not just being forced back into the closet by these animals but back further than we were in the 1950’s . I’m scared for the next generation of LGBTs.
    Please don’t ever under estimate the hate that’s being shown for us.
    The police were never our friends but they sure as hell weren’t our enemies.
    Being gay is a dangerous thing we need all to take care. You don’t have to say anything to hate the haters just do.

  19. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 7:39pm

    Since my last post, I have gone into the PinkNews archives re Equality Bill.

    It did get though a second reading in the H of C and is presntly tabled in the H of Lords where Lord Ali hopes to sway the others in favour of it, regardless of the repurcussions it may (will) have in faith schools and commerce (the latter sounds like a crock).

    So is it fair to say that the thing boils down to faith school ciriculums and how homophobic teachers will freak out if they are expected to teach equality in terms of sexual orientation?

    Also, police attitudes and procedures are bound to be affected.

    Excuse my ignorance, but a muslim Lord in favour of the Equality Bill??? Sounds like a discordant note somehow, or is my own prejudice showing?

  20. Jean-Paul: Don’t judge books by their covers. Waheed Ali is indeed a Labour lord, he is also Asian, Muslim and gay. (Oh, and exceedingly rich).

    Faith schools make up only a small proportion of the total education intake, (although this has increased in recent times with Muslim schools).

    The rise in homophobia has been unnaturally fast, far quicker than could be explained through the generations, poor education or even section 28. That is why I point out the increased population of Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians etc. who were not even here three years ago. There is a direct correlation between the two statistics.

  21. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 8:46pm

    RobN:

    So my own prejudice is showing. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t know Lord Ali is gay (openly?).

    Exceedingly rich; that explains how he was appointed to the Lords.

    So if you are underlining the negative influence of immigrants on the UK’s equality policies, is it possible that Sister Mary Clarence may be onto something when she says, I think, that European influence can just as well minimize homophobia in England, e.g. the June 4th elections, just around the corner?

  22. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2009, 8:56pm

    RobN:

    Furthermore, is it not a fact that the immigrants you speak of are Roman Catholics who lean heavily to the right, the far, far right?

  23. vulpus_rex 1 Jun 2009, 9:49pm

    It is such a shame that our police force are so woefully underfunded by Brown that they do not have the resources to deal effectively with homophobic crime.

    Perhaps if they were required to spend less time persuing a politically sympathetic agenda, such as arresting Tory MPs who have dared to embarass and disclose the home secretary’s incompetence they might be able to concentrate on matters of real concern to the wider community.

  24. Jean-Paul: You are right about the European influence, but it is a negative one. One of the surprising side effects of the MPs expenses debacle is the loss of faith in mainstream parties in Britain by the general public, and because of the methods of proportional representation voting in the forthcoming EU elections, many are worried that the British National Party, a small, extremist right wing party, could gain seats and cause a lot of racist tension, if not out-and-out violence.

    My personal opinion is to get out of the EU as soon as possible, so I will be voting UK Independence party (UKIP).

    Also, yes, the Poles are particularly Catholic, a lot as a result of Pope John-Paul II being Polish, but equally, a great deal of Europe looks to Rome, including Germany and most of the Baltic states. I wouldn’t necessarily say they were right wing, but are rather old-fashioned and unenlightened due to the many years under Communist rule, and it is only now they are seeing characteristics in Western countries they don’t approve of.

  25. I wonder if the rise in hate crimes isn’t unrelated to the new laws governing hate speech etc. that is resulting in the likes of bantering comedians, traditional hoteliers and vicars who refuse to conduct civil ceremonies being hauled before the courts on a near daily basis? Compounded with provocative posters with slogans like Stonewall’s “I’M GAY, GET OVER IT” slapped indiscriminately all over pubic places like the tube, the perception that we no longer know our place (sic) in society is bound to incur the wrath of the intolerant as well as providing an incendiary device for the more unhinged. There is nothing wrong in becoming more visible; but being loud and demanding with it and getting hysterical over the most trivial example of homophobia is getting us noticed for all of the wrong reasons. How ironic that Stonewall, in its blinkered, PC fanaticism, has probably been the single biggest agent provocateur of the rise in hate crimes against gay people today.

  26. Rob N you are on very sad ground when you state “I for one think a major factor in the rise of homophobia is the increase in Eastern European and West Indian immigrants, who are both notoriously homophobic. It’s interesting to note that the perpetrators of these attacks are rarely mentioned, and their nationality is blatant by it’s very omission.” You clearly want to blame the rise in homophobia on foreigners. You’re suggesting that it is blacks, Muslims, and Eastern Europeans who are combing the streets and beating us up etc. That’s just right-wing BNP nonsense. Are you a BNP member? I don’t suppose you will admit it. Go back through the archives and look at the various homophobic stabbings etc., and you will find that in almost every case the perpetrators are white working-class British thugs. In fact, the very sort of people who support the party whose views I suspect support – though you won’t dare admit it. Anyway, what you have said above is fascist.

  27. Sister Mary Clarence 2 Jun 2009, 3:21pm

    Can I just say that having been the ‘victim’ (and I use that term loosely as they definitely came off far worse than me) of homophobia, and I have to say the police and the local authority were absolutely fantastic.

    I felt reassured and comfortable through the entire process, statements were take by appointment at the police station, so no waiting around, there was even an officer waiting at the gates to the police station car park to allow me in to park. I was assured that I had been flagged as ‘at risk’ and that I would an immediate response in the case of an emergency (although I had thought we all got that anyway).

    The Safer Neighbourhood Team patrolled by my home very day and patrols were scheduled at night. Victim Support came round and fitted new locks and a load of other stuff to my property and I was asked it I would like a CCTV camera fitted to observe the area around my home.

    When I attended court I was sat in a private witness room away from the main waiting area to avoid me coming into contact with the defendants and I was offered transport to and from court. Two officers accompanied me, sitting in the waiting room with me and moving with me about the court building.

    I was provided with regular updates throughout the process and provided with a long list of contacts, in the police, the local authority and the solicitors.

    The police from the outset made it clear how completely ‘f*cking unacceptable’ (to quote them) the incidents were and I genuinely felt they put a great deal of time and effort into prosecuting the people involved, but also into ensuring that I did not feel vulnerable or unsafe as a result of wishing to pursue the people responsible.

    I wrote a letter of thanks to local Chief Superintendent afterwards and got a phone call from the sergeant who had dealt with the case, who was over the moon because a copy of the letter would go in the files of all the officers who had dealt with the case and it looked very good on their personnel records.

    This is one of the reasons I was absolutely pissed off with the crap about Chris Bryant ‘fleeing’ his constituency because of the problems he had. Mechanisms do exist for dealing with homophobic hate crime and when they do not work, they should be made to work. I would not hesitate to recommend that if people have any bother, they report it to the police and see it through to the end. Clearly from other comments it is not an even service across the country, but I know of a few other people who have had problems (all in London) and here at least there does seem to be more of an effort to do things properly.

  28. Jean-Paul 2 Jun 2009, 3:26pm

    This has turned into a most informative thread, and in a civil way, I might add.

    To get back to the facts, “prosecutions for crimes involving homophobia rose 60% over the past two years to 995 cases.” So not only has the hate crime rate been on the rise, the lawyers are having a field day, which is a good thing, is it not?

    Also I thought vulpus_rex stuck a right note when he mentioned the finances of the police force. When all is said and done, it comes down to the yearly budget, eh.

    Then again, somebody said that most hate crimes go unreported. Is it possible then that reporting more and more hate crimes is a factor in the ‘rise’ of homophobic crimes?

    Fact remains that nobody seems to believe that the police are genuinely ‘concerned’, and that is worrisome to me. For example, posts 9, 10, 12 & 15 all point in the same direction insofar as hands-on experience with the police. Appalling.

    Every agrees on one thing: the rise in homophobic hate-crime has sky-rocketted in the last 3 years. Are the police concerned or not, that is the question.

  29. Rob, you blame the local Polish and Muslim communities, but in Stoke-on-Trent where I live and where the British National Party has become frighteningly strong ethnic minorities in fact make up just 7% of our town’s population. They aren’t the people attacking queers. The ones attacking queers are the members of the BNP – the white local Brits who are angry because Britain isn’t the chocolate-box vision Nick Griffin wants to turn the country into – a chocolate-box vision which it never ever was by the way! How dare you point the finger at the ethnic minorities. Pointing the finger at the ethnic minorities is exactly what the Nazis did. Despicable. Your attitude, the attitude of the BNP, and the policy of the Nazis is all one and the same I am afraid. DON’T MAKE A SCAPEGOAT OF OUR ETHNIC MINORITIES!

  30. Sally: I actually said “East Europeans and West Indians” – I never mentioned anything about Muslims. However, although most Muslims are homophobic, they are generally not violent or physically attack people for their sexuality.

    Please don’t roll the BNP into this. They are a tiny piss-pot little party with little influence and despised almost unilaterally. The increase in attacks has dramatically risen in only a few years, and as I said earlier, there is a direct correlation between that rise and the rapid influx of Eastern Europeans over those same years. Coincidence? I think not.

  31. You still sound every bit like a xenophobe to me, Rob. You talk about an “influx” of foreigners as if this country has been over-run and overwhelmed with them. That is absolute tosh. They are a tiny tiny minority.

    Pointing the finger at the ethnic minorities is exactly what the Nazis did. Despicable. Your attitude, the attitude of the BNP, and the policy of the Nazis is all one and the same I am afraid. DON’T MAKE A SCAPEGOAT OF OUR ETHNIC MINORITIES!

  32. Sally: If they are a tiny minority, as you say, please explain why in my borough, there are about 50% Asians, 20% Afro-Carribean, 10% Turkish/Arab and 15% mixture of Eastern European / Other not-Brit Whites. If anyone is a persecuted minority, it’s me.

    Stop making knee-jerk reactions and look around you. Don’t just take my word for it. Go for a walk around East or South London, and see for yourself.

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