18 per cent rise in London gay hate crimes
The number of homophobic hate crimes in London has risen by 18 per cent since last year, Scotland Yard figures show.
According to the statistics, 1,192 homophobic offences were recorded in the 12 months to September this year. Compared with 1,008 in the same period last year, this is a rise of 18.3 per cent.
The news comes just a week after the death of Ian Baynham, the 62-year-old gay man who was attacked by teenagers in Trafalgar Square. Three people have been charged with his manslaughter.
Police have described the rise as a positive sign, pointing to increased levels of reporting homophobic hate crime.
In July, figures showed an 13.5 per cent rise in gay-hate crime in the last 12 months.
At the time, the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, said that this was due to increased confidence in police but said more gays and lesbians who have been victims of such attacks must come forward.
Speaking at a press conference after the results were released, he said: “Do I think hate crimes are still going unreported? Absolutely, absolutely.
“There has always been under-reporting of crime, particularly sex crime. We know there’s been massive under-reporting of that offence for many many years. And that’s because victims felt further victimised and traumatised not just by the criminal justice system but also the police. We have improved what we do dramatically.”