South Wales: Increase in reporting of LGBT hate crime

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More people are reporting homophobic and transgender hate crime in South Wales, figures show.

A freedom of information (FOI) request by Plaid Cymru found hate crimes on the grounds of sexual orientation jumped from 121 to 161 in a year, while gender identity crimes in the force area rose from nine to 29.

BBC News reports the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, said: “Intolerance and hatred in all of forms must be confronted wherever it raises its ugly head.

“There is an obligation on all of us in our communities to work together with people from all backgrounds to stand up against hate crime and racism.”

South Wales Police said hate crime had been under-reported and it was “working to encourage” victims to come forward.

“What is equally important is to see increasing levels of satisfaction of hate crime victims, particularly in the follow-up after an incident has been reported to us,” a spokeswoman added.

Unity Group Wales, an LGBT support group, welcomed the statistics.

Chief Executive Andrew Davies said: “Last year for every nine callers we’d get, only one would end up going on to report hate crime to the police.

“Today, it’s about two in nine. There’s still some distrust of the police but we’ve been working with the force and getting it out to the community that the police aren’t what they were 30 or 40 years ago.”

He added: “I’m quite happy to see the figure go up – it’s a much better picture of what’s going on.”

There were a total of 1,224 hate crimes recorded in the South Wales area in 2013/14 compared to 1,019 the previous year.