Gay rights charity Stonewall has launched a campaign calling on candidates standing to become Police and Crime Commissioners to promise to tackle homophobic crime.

Elections are taking place on 15 November across England and Wales.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said: “The commissioners will lead the fight against crime in their communities and they will have significant powers.

“They will be responsible for setting police budgets and deciding how much the public pays for policing through council tax.”

According to Stonewall, anti-gay hate crime remains a serious problem in every police force area in Britain, with one in eight gay people saying they’ve experienced a hate crime or incident.

Seven out of ten gay people say they didn’t report incidents, a third of whom didn’t think the police would take them seriously.

Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Too often gay people are subjected to violence or public humiliation just because of the way they were born, and too often they worry the police won’t do anything about it.

Mr Summerskill added: “No citizen should feel unprotected in the face of harassment or intimidation. It’s absolutely essential that gay people engage with Police and Crime Commissioners and have their say on 15 November.”

According to the Electoral Reform Society, turnout for next month’s elections could be lower than 20%.

The government has begun an advertising campaign in order to try and increase voter engagement.