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LGBT+ hate crimes rising faster than any other group

LGBT+ hate crimes rising faster than any other group

  • Crimes based on sexual orientation are 19% up in the last year and anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have more than doubled since 2015.
LGBT+ protest sign with anti-queer slurs and lovehearts.

Hate crimes against LGBT+ people are growing faster than for any other group in England and Wales.

The latest statistics for the UK Home Office show another steep rise with the growth in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes soaring above other groups.

Sexual orientation hate crimes increased by 19% in 2019 to 2020 – to 15,835 offenses. Meanwhile transgender hate crimes are up by another 16% to 2,540 in the same period.

It’s another year of steep rises. Back in 2015 to 2016, the Home Office statistics recorded just 820 transgender hate crimes and 6,700 based on sexual orientation.

That means anti-trans hate crimes have more than tripled in five years. Meanwhile hate crimes against gay, lesbian and bi people are over twice as high as they were five years ago.

Now opposition party The Liberal Democrats say the figures show a ‘systemic targeting of the LGBTQ+ community’.

Some of the rise may be due to more victims coming forward to report attacks to the police.

However, experts have previously cited Brexit and rising transphobia in the media as causes for increasing hate attacks.

Most hate crimes go unpunished

Overall hate crimes have risen by 8% in 2019 to 2020. They now stand at 105,090 cases a year, almost double their 2015 to 2016 level of 57,676 cases. However, LGBT+ Brits have been hit by the steepest rises again.

By contrast to the LGBT+ rises, religious hate crimes were actually down by 5% in the last 12 month period.

Meanwhile racially-motivated hate was up by 6% and hate crimes based on disability were up by 9%.

Over half (53%) of the hate crimes the police recorded were for public order offences. A further third (38%) were for violence against the person. Five per cent were criminal damage and arson offences.

Meanwhile the figures also reveal that most victims who report hate crime never get to see justice.

The report reveals how many cases result in the police charge or a court summons for the accused.

When the crime involves ‘violence against the person’ just 6% of those who allegedly attack someone for their sexual orientation and only 3% who attack a trans person get a charge or summons.

For ‘public order offenses’, this is higher at 12% for sexual orientation but just 5% for trans cases.

However, the figures are lower when the attacker engages in ‘criminal damage or arson’. In this case, they are 4% for sexual orientation cases and 5% where the victim is trans.

‘Horrifying backwards trend’

The Liberal Democrats went on the attack this morning, accusing the government of creating an atmosphere where hate crime can flourish.

Lib Dem equal rights campaigner John Leech said:

‘These figures show a horrifying backwards trend and point to a systemic targeting of the LGBTQ+ community.

‘It is embarrassing that in 2020 in this country, the gay community has increasingly become the intentional victims of hate crime.

‘But is it really that surprising when Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t just tolerate, but actively promotes a toxic political and social atmosphere?’

GSN has approached the Home Office for comment.

UPDATE: A Home Office spokesperson said:

All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable and the UK has a robust legislative framework to respond to it. We are clear that the cowards who commit these hateful attacks should feel the full force of the law.

The government is committed to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, including by improving the recording and monitoring of data and funding anti-bullying interventions in schools.