Police investigate ‘homophobic’ assault on Surrey man
Surrey Police are investigating the recent “homophobic assault” of a man in Godalming by a group of women.
Investigators are appealing for witnesses who might be able to provide further information on the incident or its instigators.
The assault in question took place at approximately 1.15am on Sunday, 1 October in Godalming’s High Street.
Police state that the incident resulted in a man being slapped and subject to homophobic language by a number of women.
An official statement, seen by Surrey Live reads: “We are appealing for witnesses following a report of an assault of a man by several women on the High Street in Godalming.
“The incident took place at approximately 1.15am on Sunday 1 October and involved the suspects slapping the victim and using homophobic language.”
Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Surrey Police quoting PR/45230110591.
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The incident occurred just days before a new report from the Home Office confirmed that a rise in homophobic and transphobic attacks may have been fuelled by hateful comments made by politicians.
Data released by the British government on Thursday (5 October) revealed there were 145,214 hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in 2022-2023, a slight 5 per cent decrease compared to the previous year.
Yet, hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans people, remain high.
Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ charity, highlighted that the recent data comes amid a continued surge in reports of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-trans hate in recent months.
Robbie de Santos, director of external affairs at Stonewall, shared concerns that political figures are dehumanising LGBTQ+ people, which “legitimises violence” instead of acting “seriously or quickly enough” to tackle the rising tide of hate.
At the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday (4 October), prime minister Rishi Sunak doubled down on his anti-trans stance by claiming that Britons are being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be”. He then said it was “common sense” that a “man is a man and a woman is a woman”.
It followed Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s announcement that he would work towards a ban on trans women from female NHS wards , and Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s baseless warning that refugees were pretending to by LGBTQ+ to gain asylum in the UK.
Stonewall’s head of policy, Kieran Aldred, added that the official hate crime statistics are “just the tip of the iceberg” as the “vast majority of LGBTQ+ people who experience hatred and violence” do not report it.
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