The number of reported homophobic hate crimes in the UK has doubled and reports of transphobic hate crime have tripled over the last five years, according to a new report. Over the past year, anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes soared by 32% – the biggest yearly rise since record-keeping began, confirmed data obtained by VICE World News.
In the most recent reporting year, the highest number of reports based on transphobic hate crimes came from London, reporting 434. After a dip in reports last year, there was a 28% increase in homophobic hate crimes this year, with reports now rising to 3,794 – the highest of any police force, according to London Metropolitan’s data.
Merseyside Police received 64 reports in 2014-15 and 1,618 in 2021-22 – the highest number on record. In fact, Liverpool’s police force has seen a year-on-year rise in hate crime reports in Merseyside based on sexual orientation since 2014.
Anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes rose from 1,010 in 2014-15 in Scotland to 1,853 in 2021-22. In the West Midlands, reports rose from 312 to 1,765 in the same period, with a 43% increase compared to last year. Greater Manchester’s police received 2,159 reports in 2021-22, which was a 48% increase compared to the previous year. However, there was an alarming 225% year-on-year increase in reports based on homophobic incidents in Durham, with reports rising to 198.
Only five police forces (Derbyshire, Humberside, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, and Suffolk) saw a decrease in reports of homophobic hate crimes compared to the previous reporting year. That said, all of them still had massive increases compared to five years ago, noted the report.
These figures, however, are “only the tip of the iceberg” because most LGBTQ+ people would never willingly speak to the police about what happens to them, according to LGBTQ+ charities. A report, carried out by anti-abuse charity Galop last year found that that only one in eight queer victims of hate crime reported what had happened to them.
Leni Morris, the CEO of Galop, attributes the significant rise in hate crime experienced by the LGBTQ+ community to transphobia in the media and the current narrative around monkeypox. “These things also make our community more visible in the eyes of the public – and when we are more visible, this often leads to a rise in attacks,” Morris told PinkNews.