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Crime

Homophobic hate crimes ‘most likely to be violent’

Nick Duffy October 15, 2015

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are more likely to be violent than those based on other characteristics, government dats shows.

The Home Office this week released its annual report on hate crime across England and Wales, which tracks the levels of various types of crimes.

There were 5,597 reports of hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation in the past year, accounting for 11% of the total, as well as 605 reports of transgender hate crimes.

This constitutes a 22% rise year-on-year for homophobic hate crime – though the Home Office notes that this may be partly due to improved reporting techniques.

The report also uses a new system to break down the types of crime for the first time, showing that crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity are more likely to be violent than other strands of hate crime – with a larger proportion of recorded ‘violence against the person’ – both with and without injury.

Across all the instances, the new data shows that 30% of offences were violent.

The report notes: “Recording improvements are likely to be a factor in the increase in offences recorded by the police. This is also the case for increases in disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity hate crime.

“The increase across all three strands… may suggest improved identification of hate crime as a factor, but it is possible that some of the increase is real.

“These could be genuine increases in hate crimes or increases in the numbers of victims coming forward to report a hate crime.”

Other shocking data discloses the deep levels of dissatisfaction with the police response among victims of hate crimes – with hate crime victims more than twice as likely to be ‘very dissatisfied’ with the response to their reports, compared to all victims of crimes in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive for Stop Hate UK, said: “The Home Office figures show, to some extent, that the work Stop Hate UK and other agencies, including the police are doing to raise awareness around Hate Crime and develop accessible systems is slowly having an effect on the increase in reporting from the public.

“We cannot be complacent or satisfied in any way that we have done enough to facilitate people who have experienced Hate Crime from stepping forward to report.

“We want everyone to know how Hate Crime affects people and how getting the right support can change how we feel about ourselves.

“Hate Crime ruins lives and we all need to show that we have no tolerance for Hate Crime in our society.”

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