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LGBT+ hate crime more than doubles in England and Wales

Lily Wakefield June 14, 2019
The LGBT Community Celebrates Pride In London

London Pride parade 2016. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

Homophobic and transphobic hate crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in the last four years, analysis by The Guardian has revealed.

The rate of LGBT+ hate crime, including offences like harassment, assault and stalking, increased by 144 percent between 2014 and 2018. There were 4,600 LGBT+ hate crimes reported in 2014, but in 2018 that number rose to 11,600, The Guardian reported.

Numbers of transphobic hate crimes specifically have tripled in the same amount of time, from 550 in 2014 to 1,650 in 2018.

“There is a tension, and even within our own LGBT community there is a tension. I believe it’s a direct result of people feeling unsafe due to rise of the rightwing political movement,” Taz Edwards-White, of equality and diversity organisation Metro, told The Guardian.

Almost half of the hate crimes committed on trans people were violent, with 46 percent being offences like assault and grievous bodily harm. For homophobic hate crimes, 40 percent were violent in 2018.

The area with the largest increase in LGBT+ hate crime was West Yorkshire, with crimes reported to police jumping by 376 percent between 2014 and 2018.

LGBT+ hate crime has been in the spotlight recently after a lesbian couple were attacked on a London bus for refusing to kiss in front of men.

Two women on a bus covered in blood
Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris were hate crime victims left bloodied on a London night bus. (Facebook)

Stonewall: “Underreporting hate crimes is also a huge issue”

Laura Russell, director of campaigns, policy and research at Stonewall, said in statement after the bus attack: “Underreporting hate crimes is also a huge issue, which is why Stonewall is working with police services across Britain and the Crown Prosecution Service to better support LGBT people reporting abuse.

“We also need consistent sentencing so that LGBT people know that we’ll be fully supported by the justice system.”

“What upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing,” Melania Geymonat, one of the women attacked, wrote on Facebook afterwards.

“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because.”

True Vision is a national police scheme which allows anyone in the UK who has witnessed or been a victim of a hate crime to report it online.

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