Police figures show rise in recorded anti-gay and transphobic crimes

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Recorded hate crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland fell by seven per cent last year – but crimes based on sexual orientation, transgender status and disability rose.

According to figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers, recorded crimes based on faith and race decreased between 2009 and 2010.

There were 51,920 recorded crimes based on race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender status and disability in 2009. Last year, this figure fell to 48,127.

Overall, police forces saw a slight rise in anti-gay crimes, from 4,805 offences to 4,883.

In Manchester, anti-gay crime fell from 497 offences to 307, while Merseyside saw a slight increase, from 144 to 158.

London saw 1,328 recorded anti-gay crimes in 2009. Last year, the number rose to 1,362.

But there was a 14 per cent increase in recorded transphobic crime across the country.

In London, anti-trans crime rose from 78 recorded offences in 2009 to 82 last year.

Overall, recorded crimes based on the victim’s disability rose by 21 per cent, from 1,294 in 2009 to 1,569 last year.

But crimes based on religion fell, from 2,083 recorded offences to 2,007. Recorded crimes based on race fell by nine per cent, from 43,426 in 2009 to 39,311 last year.

Chief Constable Stephen Otter, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “Hate crimes cause a great deal of fear among victims and communities. We are determined to reduce the harm caused by hate crime and as a service we have listened to victims’ groups who have told us that by publishing this data, confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system would be improved.

“The 2010 data importantly shows increases in disability and transgender hate crime. While we would obviously want to see reductions in the incidence of all hate crime, we know that these crimes have been significantly under-reported in the past.”

He added: “I would encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to their local police or to use True Vision, our online reporting facility at www.report-it.org.uk.”