Minister will consider national system for reporting homophobes
Minister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has pledged support for a more effective system for the gay community to report hate crime.
Last month, an investigation by PinkNews.co.uk discovered that access to a dedicated LGBT liaison officer is often impeded by a lack of awareness on the switchboard or by officers being unavailable at the desired time.
Bernard McEldowney, a GPA spokesman told The Pink News the main reason for the difficulties is due to each force employing a different system.
Mr McNulty described ideas for a more centralised system as “reasonable.”
He told PinkNews.co.uk that its important to look at areas where different reporting methods such as gaydar profiles or True Vision Packs have been effective.
“The notion that it should be pulled into a national gatekeeper is a fair one, will look into that,” he said.
It comes after The Home Office launched a campaign promoting effective ways of reporting and stopping homophobic crime which includes using schools to teach against homophobia.
The guidance, titled “Tackling Homophobic Hate Crime,” highlights good practice from around England and Wales, and stresses the best way for crime reduction agencies, including the police, to do more to crackdown on crime motivated by prejudice or hate.
It states agencies that are part of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships should encourage more victims and witnesses to come forward to report homophobic hate crime; improve the response of the criminal justice system; increase confidence in the criminal justice system so that people feel they can report homophobic hate crime; improve data sharing; and tackle repeated victimisation.
The guidance features previously effective examples of tackling hate crime through raising awareness, encouraging victims to report crimes and tools, such as fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder, which police and other partners can use to tackle this form of hate crime.
There were over 1,000 homophobic incidents in London alone in 2005, but police estimate that around 90 per cent of hate crime is not reported.
Hate crime is defined as any criminal incident which is seen by the victim as being motivated by prejudice or hatred of a particular community. Targeted robbery and blackmail are included in this definition.