A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) community prosecutor spent last Friday night in London’s West End.

The visit aimed to raise awareness of domestic violence and homophobic crime among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Hywel Ebsworth, of Haringey CPS, visited pubs, shops and cafes along with representatives from Haringey’s LGBT network and Domestic Violence forum.

He dropped off information leaflets about domestic violence and spoke to staff about the role of the CPS in tackling homophobic and transphobic crime.

“Some members of the LGBT community may be reluctant to come forward if they are a victim of domestic violence or a homophobic crime, but I am meeting people in a bid to encourage them to do so,” Mr Ebsworth said.

“The CPS regards homophobic crime as particularly serious because it undermines people’s right to feel safe about their sexual orientation.

“Such crimes are based on prejudice, discrimination and hate, and they have no place in an open and democratic society.”

The CPS said that between April 2008 and March 2009 there were 139 cases of homophobic and transphobic hate crime in London, with a conviction rate of 74.8 per cent.

The service monitors hate crime with annual CPS Hate Crime Reports, which are available on the CPS website.

Last month the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, urged gays and lesbians to report homophobic crimes.

Speaking at a press briefing he admitted that the police had got it wrong in the past.

A Stonewall survey from last year found that three out of four lesbian and gay people who had been a victim of a hate crime did not report it to police.

Of these, a third said they felt police would not or could not do anything about the incident.

Figures released in July by the Metropolitan Police showed a 13.5 per cent rise in homophobic hate crimes reported across London.