Home Office: 54% rise in transphobic crime

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Transgender hate crime has increased by 54%, new Home Office figures show.

Campaigners said the rise could be due to higher levels of police confidence in the trans community.

Transgender hate crime saw the biggest percentage increase out of the five strands of classified hate crime, while disability and homophobic crime increased by similar proportions to race hate crime.

From 2013 to this year, there were 44,480 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 5% in the previous period.

The Home Office said hate crime encompassing more than one motivating factor could explain the overall rise.

Crimes motivated by a person’s race were up 4% to 37,484 cases and religious hate crimes were up 45% to 2,273 offences – statisticians believed this was driven by the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in May last year.

Crimes motivated by a person’s disability increased by 8% to 1,985 cases.

Disability and transgender hate crime are the only two strands which have increased each year since 2011-2012.

Five hundred and fifty five transgender hate crimes were recorded from 2013 to this year.

Additionally, the report by the Home Office claimed police may have improved their recording of crime and the identification of motivating factors for offences over the last year.

But the Home Office also said it was less clear whether the increase in sexual orientation, disability or transgender hate crime reflects a real rise in hate crime or improved police identification of such offences.

The Chair of Trans Media Watch (TMW), Jennie Kermode, told PinkNews that the rise in transgender hate crime was “very worrying” but added “trans people are getting more confident in reporting hate crime to the police”.

She said it was important to continue to “raise the profile” of the impact of hate crime on the trans community.

The campaigner also pointed to Trans Media Watch’s work in urging for a tougher approach to online hate crime.

A report published last year by Law Commission highlighted that social media frequently allowed extreme examples of hostility towards transgender individuals to go unpunished.