The Coalition Government is making significant progress in the battle against hate crime, according to an official report published today.
The Hate Crime Action Plan documents the government’s work to tackle abuse online, transphobia, and the spike in anti-Muslim sentiment following the murder of Lee Rigby.
It claims the abolition of central targets, new guidance on prosecutions, better education of secondary school pupils, a code of practice for victims and improved recording by police are key to understanding and reducing hate crime.
The government is also working in partnership with major internet service providers in the UK and US to reduce the harm caused by hate material on the internet.
Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “Hate crime has devastating consequences for victims and their families, and can divide communities.
“The Coalition Government is determined to stamp out this ugly and unacceptable crime in all its forms.”
The Liberal Democrat MP continued: “We have already made significant progress ensuring transgender hatred is taken into account in the courts during sentencing, working closely with police to encourage hate crime victims to come forward, and encouraging Police and Crime Commissioners to tailor specific responses to local issues and priorities.
“I am determined to keep pace as new issues emerge to ensure attitudes that foster hatred are challenged and the richness and diversity of British society is protected.”
Figures released in December last year by the Home Office showed there had been a fall in the number of homophobic crimes recorded in England and Wales – however reports of transphobic crime had risen.
The Home Office data noted that LGBT hate crimes still remain largely unreported – and this is especially true of crimes against the trans community.
Several LGBT campaign groups have warned that LGBT community confidence in the police has fallen in recent years – explaining for possible reductions in reporting.