A fire at a flat in Whitechapel, East London, is being treated as a transphobic hate crime by the Metropolitan Police.
The fire happened on 14 April just before 06:30am local time at a flat on Whitechapel High Street, with no injuries being reported.
There was a trans woman and a gay man inside the property at the time of the blaze, the Met confirmed.
Police are now working with investigators to figure out what caused the fire, which is being treated as suspicious.
“We do not tolerate transphobia and are working closely with the London Fire Brigade in Tower Hamlets to extend support to the three victims of what was clearly a very frightening ordeal,” said Acting Ch Insp Dave Hodges.
Despite no arrests being made yet, the Met said it is pursuing “active lines of inquiry”.
Anyone with information about the fire has been asked to contact police.
Hate crimes recently reach record highs in England and Wales
It was recently announced that recorded hate crimes had reached new highs in England and Wales.
There were a total of 155,841 hate crimes recorded by police in the year ending March 2022, an increase of 26% from the previous 12 months.
It marked the largest annual rise since 2017.
Offences targeting transgender people rose by 56% from 2020/21, showing the largest proportional increase for any group with a total of 4,355 anti-trans incidents on record.
“Transgender issues have been heavily discussed on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in related hate crimes,” the Home Office report said.
Racist hate crimes also reached new highs, with more than 100,000 recorded in England and Wales for the first time – an increase of 19% from the previous year.