Plans to tackle under-reporting of LGBT hate crime

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a new project to tackle under-reporting of LGBT hate crime.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales recorded 39,000 homophobic and transphobic incidents, but just 4,500 were reported to the police. The Commission plans to work with LGBT organisations and criminal justice agencies to create new ways for people to report homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

The Commission hopes that new methods of reporting will help victims who are afraid of reporting hate crime to the authorities. There will be a focus on rural areas, where reporting is particularly low.

Commissioner Evelyn Asante-Mensah said: “Everyone in Britain should feel confident and sufficiently empowered to recognise and report incidents of hatred, hostility and harassment and yet we know that for LGB and T people this is very often not the case.

“It is difficult to tackle crimes that are not reported. Therefore, addressing under-reporting is crucial to the broader aim of reducing these incidents and creating a fairer and safer society.”

Chief Constable Jane Sawyers, National Policing Lead for LGBT Issues, said: “Many forms of hate crime, including LGBT hate crime, are still significantly under-reported. The police are committed to tackling hate crime and bringing offenders to justice.

“However, we can only do this effectively and continue to improve our approach if we know about it.”