Nov 262014

By Jimmy Nsubuga

Gay, crime

Crime against gay people is on the rise (Picture: Getty Images)

Homophobic crime is on the rise, with many of the biggest increases being reported in towns and cities.

More than 3,000 cases of assault and harassment have been reported to police so far in 2014 – including more than 300 violent attacks in London alone.

In the first ten months of this year the overall figure was already three per cent up on the whole of last year, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Gay people, hate crime

Police said they were committed to reducing hate crime (Picture: Getty Images)

Gay rights charities said while it was ‘encouraging’ more people were reporting hate crime, many victims felt ‘silenced’ by abuse on the street.

Scotland Yard recorded 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October, a 6.6 per cent rise on 2013.

They included 315 assaults, and a sharp rise in harassment offences from 693 to 747.

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Gay people, crime

Homophobic crimes are increasing across the country (Picture: Getty Images)

Figures also increased in other parts of the country, with Greater Manchester Police reporting a rise of 20.3 per cent on 2013 so far, and Avon and Somerset Police also dealing with more incidents than last year.

Gay rights charity Stonewall warned homophobic hate crime was ‘a real issue in the UK’ and authorities must ‘continue to take this type of vile abuse seriously’.

The charity’s spokesman Richard Lane said: ‘Hate crime is a key area of our work at Stonewall and our campaigns aim to not just encourage individuals to report attacks, but also for the police to try and make people feel more at ease with approaching them.

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‘We know, in the past, many have been hesitant to report crimes to the police for fear of the consequences.’

Chief Constable Jane Sawyers, national policing lead for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues (LGBT), added: ‘Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is totally unacceptable.

‘Police forces across the UK are committed to reducing hate crime and improving services to victims.’

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