London: Barking & Dagenham LGBT Network alarmed over increase in anti-gay crime
A rise in reported homophobic crime in the east London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has alarmed LGBT community activists.
From March 2012 to March of this year, 21 offences were recorded compared to 12 in the previous period – a rise of 75%.
Det Sgt Eugene McCarthy, of the Met Police’s Barking and Dagenham LGBT Liaison Team, said the rise in the borough was down to increased reporting. “This year’s crime figures demonstrate that an increase in reporting is evident.”
He added: “We continue to encourage anyone who is affected by homophobic crime not to suffer in silence. There is an officer waiting to listen.
However, Ryan Edwards, chairman of Barking and Dagenham LGBT network, said: “I’m not surprised by the figures.
“I have repeatedly asked the officers for a meeting but they have never met with me. They are paying lip service to the notion of having an LGBT service.
“They need to be open with the resources they are putting behind it.”
Neighbouring boroughs Newham and Redbridge have also seen increases in homophobic hate crime – although across London as a whole Metropolitan Police Service statistics show a recorded fall of 12.7%