Man left with facial injuries after brutal homophobic hate crime

Police tape

Two men have been arrested in connection to a homophobic hate crime in Basingstoke, England, that left the victim’s face battered.

At around 11pm on Saturday (17 April) the victim, described by law enforcement as a man in his 20s, was jumped on by a group of people in the town’s main railway station.

The group, local police said, reportedly began lobbing homophobic slurs and abuse towards the man as he walked towards a bus stop outside Basingstoke Train Station.

As he stood waiting, two members of the group struck, leaving the victim with sustained injuries to his face, HampshireLive reported.

Two Basingstoke residents – a 20-year-old and 19-year-old – have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. Both at the time of writing remain in custody.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44210145908,” Basingstoke Cops said in a Facebook statement.

“Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their anonymous online form.”

The incident comes amid an alarming spike in hate crimes in England and Wales that have police and prosecutors scrambling and activists deeply worried.

Between 2014 and 2018, anti-LGBT+ crimes motivated by hate leapt by 144 per cent. Transphobic hate crimes, in particular, have rocketed – tripling in the same amount of time, from 550 in 2014 to 1,650 in 2018.

Police are investigating seven transphobic offences a day, according to figures from the Home Office, the government department for migration and security.

Overall, the department’s data showed, hate crime levels have soared to record-breaking heights – topping 100,000 in 2019.

As much as some police officials have attributed the sharp upswing to an increase in reporting, activists remain unconvinced. Eighty per cent of LGBT+ victims don’t report hate crimes, Stonewall says.

The surge, some say, is evidence of a rise in actual crime rather than simply victims being more willing to report it. And anti-violence experts also warn that the figures – already startling in their size – are likely even higher as a result.