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Call to action over homophobic hate crimes

Jessica Geen March 23, 2009

Research on homophobic and transphobic violence in London has called for a more coordinated police approach to tackling such crimes.

The survey, from gay and lesbian anti-violence group Galop and the Metropolitan Police, focuses on unreported crimes and provides a map of service provisions in the capital.

According to the research, to be released this week, a “significant” number of officially unreported homophobic and transphobic were informally reported to a range of agencies across London, but in most cases, such information was not recorded or shared with other organisations.

The research also criticised the “uneven and inconsistent” approach of having varying methods across boroughs of encouraging the reporting of hate crimes.

Another factor was fear of not being believed or treated well by the police, with 22 per cent of respondents saying they did not report a hate crime due to suspecting a negative attitude from police.

More than one in four respondents said they felt the incident was not worth reporting as there was nothing the police could or would do.

Around half of those who called LGBT organisations for advice following a crime had not reported the incident to the police.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of Galop said “Homophobic and transphobic hate crime can be a daily occurrence for some LGBT
people who are harassed by neighbours and face attacks from family members.

“Many of these people prefer to approach a supportive organisation such as Galop, Stonewall Housing or London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard to report their experiences, particularly when seeking support beyond just reporting.

“Filling in the Blanks explores these experiences, and highlights the need for the police, local authorities and others in the London criminal justice system to provide a more consistent service across the capital”.

More: England, London

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