Biphobic hate crimes should be treated differently to anti-gay and anti-trans hate crime, prosecutors say
Prosecutors have released new hate crime guidelines that mark the specific nature of biphobic hate crime, as well as highlighting the importance of tackling online hate crime.
This is the first time the Crown Prosecution Service has explicitly mentioned biphobic hate crime in their guidance, which is given to every police force in the country.
This new specification of biphobic hate crime allows for bisexuals to report specifically against gays and lesbians for the first time.
The guidelines also involve a commitment from the crown prosecution service to take online hate crime more seriously.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders said: Whether shouted in their face on the street, daubed on their wall or tweeted into their living room, the impact of hateful abuse on a victim can be equally devastating,
A hate crime is defined by an offence that is motivated by hatred towards someone’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
The Crown Prosecution Service stated that bisexual people have different needs and experiences when reporting hate crime.
This guidance comes after a damning report by Pride in London’s advisory body, who highlighted the numerous issues of bisexual inclusion in this year’s Pride.
The report stated that Pride in London 2018 ought to have a ‘bi-focus’ following in the footsteps of this year’s Pride in Tel Aviv.
Initially, Pride in London had no bisexual groups marching in the parade after closing applications early.
The existence of bisexual people is often debated within the LGBT+ community, despite being one of the largest groups within the acronym.
Police have consulted with community leaders on the new guidance which was prompted by rising reports of hate crime across the country.
The announcement has been accompanied by a new hashtag, #HateCrimeMatters to promote awareness of the guidelines and to encourage people to come forward.
Bisexual Activist Lewis Oakley commented on the news, telling PinkNews: “I’m delighted at this development, not just for myself and the other bisexuals out there but also for people like my girlfriend who have to endure disgusting slurs about their partners.
“My girlfriend has been told she’ll never be enough for me, that I will cheat on her and even that she’ll catch HIV by dating a bisexual man. The fact that people who have never met me feel they have a right to make my girlfriend doubt our relationship because of my sexuality is inexcusably a hate crime.”
The hashtag was quickly inundated with tweets about the campaign, with many of them comparing the new guidelines to George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984.
Although reporting remains low, hate crime convictions have risen from 82.9% in 2014/15 to 83.2% in 2015/16.