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Police warn ‘real possibility’ of increase in LGBTI hate crime due to Brexit

Police warn ‘real possibility’ of increase in LGBTI hate crime due to Brexit

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LGBT and Brexit

A police watchdog warned there’s a ‘real possibility’ of an increase in LGBTI hate crime as a direct result of Brexit.

According to a new report, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said hate crime rose during the 2016 referendum and it’s likely to rise again when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union at the end of March 2019.

The report said: ‘Police forces should prepare for this eventuality.’

Police should also ‘make sure that the recommendations in this report are used in the future to improve the police response to hate crime victims.’

There are ‘significant problems’ in addressing hate crime

Hate crime accounts for roughly 2% of all crimes reported to police.

The figures show the number of recorded offences increased by 57% between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

The report analyzes hate crime across the board – from LGBTI hate crime to race-based and religious attacks.

It also recommended police in England and Wales need to tackle ‘significant problems’ in handling hate crime cases.

It took an average of five days for police to visit 73 victims, while 65 were not seen at all.

LGTB Brexit
Brexit continues to spark protests in the UK. | Photo: Gustavo Ferlizi.

The watchdog also said some people who reported hate crime were designated incorrectly during the time they reported it.

In one case assessment, the report stated: ‘A 17-year-old gay victim was assaulted, and received facial injuries. The victim called the police and said she believed this had happened because she was gay.

‘The control room operator did not assess the victim as being vulnerable and did not flag the incident as being hate-related.

‘An officer later visited the victim and made a crime report which was incorrectly recorded as a racial/religiously aggravated assault,’ the report said.

The report found inadequate responses in 89 of 180 cases it reviewed.

Brexit Report: This is how Brexit could hurt LGBTI people

Gay Star News’s exclusive Brexit report has found LGBTI people will be left vulnerable.

The EU locks the UK into protecting people on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. It provides gay, bi and trans people with a legal route to appeal if the UK doesn’t treat them fairly.

But when the UK comes out of the EU, there’s no guarantee yet that those protections will still exist.

The UK enjoys some protections as a direct result of the EU. These include free movement, trans rights, employment rights, relationship rights and asylum.

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