Image: Emma Johnson / The Boar

Homophobic hate crime rises 57% in Warwickshire

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Reports of homophobic hate crimes in Warwickshire have risen by 57% so far this year, the Boar can reveal, following a Freedom of Information request to Warwickshire Police.

44 of the crimes have been reported so far in 2016. For the entire twelve months of 2015, 28 incidents were recorded.

Furthermore, narrowing down the figures to January-October 2015, we can see a 100% increase in homophobic hate crime directly compared to the same time frame for this year.

There were 22 hate crimes reported in the first 10 months of 2015, compared to the 44 reported between January to October 2016.

A homophobic hate crime is defined by law as: “A criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is LGBT+ or perceived to be LGBT+.”

44 of the crimes have been reported so far in 2016. For the entire twelve months of 2015, 28 incidents were recorded.

Due to common issues with the number of hate crimes that occur versus the number of those reported, it is likely that the statistics could in reality be far higher.

The increase could well be that more people are simply coming forward to report; but there is also the possibility that substantially more homophobic hate crimes are occurring, too.

Just as with other types of hate crime, Brexit is believed to have played a major part in increasing reports.

Homophobic hate crime increased nationally by 147% in the three months following Brexit compared to the same period in 2015, whilst hate crime figures in general rose by 58%.

3076 incidents of hate crime in the UK were recorded in the last two weeks of June.

A recent poll by YouGov revealed that 37% of LGBT+ university students are concerned about being targetted in hate crimes – almost double the 19% worried in 2015.

The Freedom of Information was specifically on homophobic hate crime, and whilst the definition includes the transgender community, transphobic hate crime is a massive problem too.

The Independent reported transphobic hate crimes specifically has risen by 170% nationally.

A recent poll by YouGov revealed that 37% of LGBT+ university students are concerned about being targetted in hate crimes – almost double the 19% worried in 2015.

This is believed to be in reaction to the national increase in homophobic hate crime.

Cai Wilshaw, Founder of LGBT Leaders told Pink News: “In a year when the LGBT community has been under threat, this is yet another worrying indicator that students feel afraid to be their authentic selves not only in the workplace, but also going about their daily lives.

“These figures just go to show that there has never been a more important time to champion LGBT rights for young people across the country.”

Warwick Pride responds

Warwick Pride commented: “We believe that this is a result of underlying systematic attitudes, but that attacks on LGBTUA+ and other minority groups have been worsened by recent political events.

“We are seeing a huge rise in far right support and electoral success, and when officials fail to condemn this rhetoric, we reach the current state where the abuse again becomes public and legitimised.”

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