“We are very concerned that this is a real rise in people who are being attacked because of who they are and who they love.”
According to data from the BBC, a record number of homophobic hate crimes towards the LGBTQ+ community has almost trebled in the last five years.
The new statistics were gathered from all 45 police forces in the UK.
In 2014-2015, 6,655 homophobic hate crimes were reported, and in 2019-20, after the legalization of same-sex marriage, the number has risen to 18,465.
Data obtained from Freedom of Information requests show that there was also a “20% rise in reports to police of homophobic hate crime.”
Deputy Chief Constable and lead for LGBT at the National Police Chiefs’ Council Julie Cooke, states: “I could come up with lots of examples where we are getting it right, but I absolutely take seriously where we don’t.”
She continued: “And we need to make sure that we improve and learn from those times when we’ve not done it right […] and if you’re not getting the right response that you would expect, please make sure that you tell us that.”
Chief executive of Stonewall, Nancy Kelley isn’t convinced that the rise of hate crimes only comes down to better reporting
“We are definitely seeing a real increase in people reaching out for help across all of the LGBT organisations,” she said.
In regards to the number of unreported hate crimes Kelley, states: ” We know that 80% of LGBT people don’t report hate crimes. So this is really just the tip of the iceberg.”
She continued: One of the key steps to changing this is making it visible, and by standing up and saying that we shouldn’t have to experience this kind of hate and abuse.”
The rise in homophobic hate crimes has also been reported in other countries like Germany and Mexico.