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UK homophobic crimes up during the pandemic

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UK homophobic crimes

UK homophobic crimes up during the pandemic

Police reports indicate that UK homophobic crimes had gone up during the pandemic, when lockdown restrictions were eased last summer.

The third national lockdown in England lasted from January 6 to March 29 this year.

However, LGBTQ advocates warn that the hate crime figures may be higher due to under-reporting, a “stark reminder” for the LGBTQ community that is “still at risk of attack because of who we are.”

UK homophobic crimes by the numbers

According to data recorded by UK police forces, reports of sexual orientation hate crimes went up from an average of 1,456 a month from January to April 2021 to an average of 2,211 from May to August.

There were also at least 14,670 homophobic hate crimes recorded from January to August this year as compared to 11,841 for the same period last year and 10,817 in 2019.

What’s more, there were 2,129 transphobic offenses recorded for the period of January to August, higher than the 1,606 for 2020 and 1,602 in 2019.

Transphobic attacks went up to an average of 324 a month for May to August as compared to an average of 208 a month for January to April.

This data was taken from 37 of the UK’s 46 forces. It was requested by the PA Media news agency under the freedom of information legislation.

Crimes against the community highest in June

LGBTQ advocates pointed out that hate crimes against the LGBTQ community had the highest volume in June, which was when the pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Police data recorded 2,389 homophobic and 371 transphobic offences, the highest number in a month in the past three years. This is equal to about 80 homophobic and 12 transphobic offences a day.

In London, homophobic attacks were up a 10-year high with nearly 400 offences as recorded by the Metropolitan Police in June.

While there are many reasons cited for the rise, LGBTQ organizations suggested the increased number of people being out and the reopening of the night-time economy as one cause.

Leni Morris, chief executive of the LGBT anti-violence charity Galop, also noted that same-sex couples were more visible when out in public.

Morris said: “What we saw in the pandemic was LGBT+ people experiencing forms of abuse and violence that were either exacerbated by the pandemic itself or caused by it.”

UK homophobic crimes up throughout the years

VICE World News reported that homophobic hate crime reports have tripled, up to 19,679 in 2020-2021 as compared to 6,363 in 2014-2015.

For the same period, there were 2,588 transphobic hate crimes as compared to 598 from data obtained from 45 police forces via freedom of information requests.

Morris pointed out “that 90% of hate crimes against LGBT+ people go unreported, so these figures only represent a tiny part of the overall amount of abuse and violence faced by the LGBT+ community in the UK today.”

According to the UK Home Office, a hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.”

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