A YouGov poll has shown that one in six gay or bisexual people in the UK has been the victim of homophobic hate crime or abuse in the past three years.

According to the Observer, the survey found that of more than 600,000 hate crimes, less than a quarter were reported to the police.

The gay rights charity Stonewall, who commissioned the poll of 2,500 gay people, has called the findings “disturbing.”

Deputy chief executive Ruth Hunt said: “No one should live in fear of verbal or physical violence just because of the way they were born.

“Despite radical steps to make police forces more accountable to the public, these figures show the disturbing levels of violence and intimidation faced every day by lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain.

“Most victims don’t report abuse and, if they do turn to the police, they have low expectations that anyone will listen or act.”

The poll also found that just a quarter of those who reported a crime or incident to the police were referred to a support group.

One in 10 of those who had experienced a homophobic hate crime or incident in the past three years had been physically assaulted.

Almost a fifth victims had been threatened with violence, and one in eight had experienced unwanted sexual contact.

The survey is due to be be launched at a seminar on Tuesday at New Scotland Yard.

Ms Hunt added: “Britain’s gay taxpayers contribute some £700m a year to the cost of policing.

“While there’s been some real progress in tackling hate crime in recent years, this evidence demonstrates starkly just how much more needs to be done.”

According to a Galop survey, released in August, 75% of trans people and one in eight gay people were the victim a hate crimes each year in the UK.

Results from homophobic crimes were reportedly handled in an “excellent” way, compared to the results of transphobia investigations, which were “very poor”.

Compared to other types of hate crime, such as racism, the proportion of homophobic crimes are on the rise. 9% of all UK hate crimes in 2009 were homophobic, rising to 10% in 2010 and 11% in 2011.