A 40% rise in reported homophobic crime over the last three years in South Wales has been attributed to the increased confidence of gay victims to come forward.

401 anti-gay incidents were reported to South Wales Police in 2011, up significantly on the 289 in 2008.

Inspector Nigel Crates of South Wales Police told the South Wales Echo it was a result of improved confidence of victims to report incidents.

He said: “Action plans ensure advice, help and support are provided to victims through the police and our partner agencies.

“The action plan is a result of a risk assessment process carried out by the attending officer which improves the first contact experience with South Wales Police and helps increase the confidence of victims to report matters.”

But Andrew White, the Director of Stonewall Cymru, said there was still a large number of crimes going unreported.

He said: “Stonewall’s research clearly shows that three in four homophobic hate crimes and incidents in Wales still go unreported to the police, often because victims do not feel that the police will do anything about them.

“Whilst some progress has been made, police forces still need to do much more to ensure all gay people in Wales feel confident to report homophobic incidents.”

In October of last year, North Wales police announced plans to display rainbow flag stickers in stations to encourage gay people to report homophobic crime.

Diversity leaders at the force believe the stickers will reassure gay people that they will be treated sensitively and respectfully.

Greg George, Head of Diversity Development at the North Wales Police told the Daily Mail: “The force is committed to tackling all crimes including homophobic hate crime and the stickers, which will be placed in all front counter areas, are a further symbol of our pledge.

“We know that homophobic hate crime is still under reported.

“All police officers within the force are trained to deal with all types of crime, however we also have designated diversity officers to support investigation and victims of such offences. The force also runs a self reporting initiative where victims can contact the police without giving their name and details.”