Report finds 35,000 LGBT hate crimes unreported in the UK each year
Evidence suggests that tens of thousands of anti-LGBT hate crimes are going unreported each year in the UK.
The figures suggest that the fear of how victims of hate crime will be treated on reporting incidents.
The report, which was produced for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, suggests that some 35,000 hate crimes go unreported each year in the UK.
Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, who authored the report, said hate crimes are a daily occurrence for many LGBT people.
The report’s author, Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, a lecturer at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, said: “Hate crimes are a routine, and mostly unreported feature of many LGB and T people’s daily lives.
“Simply expecting victims to report without taking meaningful action to dismantle perceived and actual barriers is futile, particularly when the evidence shows that many have little confidence in the capacity of authorities to act empathetically or effectively.”
The study was conducted by the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, and showed that 88 percent of LGBT people had experienced some form of hate crime leaving them emotionally or physically scarred.
Just 14 percent of victims had reported the latest hate crime to police, the report found.
It also showed that some victims of transphobia were targeted as many as 50 times in a year, withonly one in three actually reporting the incident.
Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of the LGBT Consortium, said: “LGBT communities are already working with the police to remove barriers to reporting, and offer practical and emotional support. However, too often, LGBT people don’t know they are experiencing hate crime or just shrug it off.
“Collectively, we are saying it is time to move on from this. Our message today is recognise hate crime when it happens, report it, and get support when you need it.”
The study was based on in-depth interviews with LGBT people in Leicester and Leicestershire.
Equality and Human Rights Commissioner Evelyn Asante-Mensah, called for committed action: “Pride season is upon us and it seems an opportune moment to reflect on the great steps made towards equality, while highlighting the hidden scandal of underreporting of LGB and T hate crime.
“Just as the Commission is doing with disability hate crime, we need to bring this problem into the open and create a culture where victims are confident to come forward and society confronts all forms of abuse.”
Galpop Chief Executive, Nik Noone, spoke of the urgent need for the partnership, saying: “It is not acceptable that people go so long without support and assistance, so I am pleased that the EHRC is steadfastly behind our partnership’s work to build strong local community responses to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in every village, town and city.”
The publication of the report coincides with a major new campaign to raise awareness of LGB and T hate crime by a partnership of 31 organisations, funded by the Commission.
With the message of ‘Recognise it. Report it.’ the campaign will empower LGBT people to stand up against hate crime through education and training as well as establishing local partnerships.
Led by the LGBT Consortium, this is the first time that groups from across England and Wales have come together to tackle hate crime, with a focus on rural communities where reporting is especially low.
The Commission is also funding the UK’s only 24/7 nationwide LGBT hate crime helpline, run by Stop Hate UK – 0808 801 0661.
Other regional helplines can be found at www.lgbthatecrime.org.uk.