Teenagers charged in connection with homophobic attack on London tube
Two teenagers have been charged in connection with a hate crime following a homophobic incident on the London underground last year.
The boys, aged 16 and 17, from Newham in East London, will appear before Bexley Magistrates’ Court on May 11.
A 19-year-old man was abused on a Jubilee Line train between West Ham and North Greenwich in October 2017.
The British Transport Police said the victim was verbally abused, placed in a headlock and forced to apologise for being gay by two men.
A 25-year-old woman, a friend of the victim, was also punched and pushed to the ground during the incident.
The 17-year-old has been charged with a public order offence and the 16-year-old has been charged with assault by beating, police said.
“Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police. We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety,” police said in a statement.
“We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”
Hate crime against LGBT+ people on public transport remains a serious issue across the UK.
In 2017, new figures by the British Transport Police highlighted hate crimes and incidents against transgender people using the rail network had risen by more than 70 percent.
Data revealed last year showed the number of attacks on lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK have risen by nearly 80 percent in the past four years.
The research, released by charity Stonewall, found more than one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation or gender identity in the year up to September 2017.
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Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the same time frame, according to the report.
More than 5,000 LGBT people in the UK were polled for the research.
Many of the incidents took place in public spaces, with 17 percent of those polled having been victims of hate crime when visiting restaurants, bars or cafes.
Another report, commissioned by Pride in London, found a 35 percent rise in reported hate crime against the LGBT+ community in London since same-sex marriage was introduced in 2014.
“Many people think that London is a progressive city, but hate is still a big problem for the LGBT+ community here,” a statement from Pride in London said.
A third of UK adults that had experienced a hate crime said they had not reported the incident to the police, with many saying they did not realise they were a victim of a crime.
Others said they did not think the report would be taken seriously.