Recorded Homophobic Hate Crimes Soar During Pandemic, Figures Show | Lgbt rights | Breaking News Updates

Recorded Homophobic Hate Crimes Soar During Pandemic, Figures Show | Lgbt rights

| Breaking News Updates | Fox News

Police chiefs urged victims of homophobic and transphobic abuse to come forward after figures showed hate crime numbers hit their highest monthly level since the start of the pandemic, after lockdown restrictions were cut. been relaxed in early summer.

Reports of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation recorded by the British police force fell from an average of 1,456 per month from January to April of this year to 2,211 on average from May to August.

From January to August of this year, at least 14,670 homophobic hate crimes were recorded, up from 11,841 in the same period of 2020 and 10,817 in 2019. During the same period, police recorded 2,129 transphobic offenses, well above 1,606 offenses in 2020 and 1,602 in 2019.

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes recorded by police in UK have risen sharply after lockdown

Transphobic attacks also skyrocketed over the same period, from an average of 208 per month from January to April to 324 from May to August. England’s third national lockdown began on January 6, with the ‘stay at home’ order lifted on March 29.

Activists say actual hate crime numbers are likely higher due to underreporting and were a “stark reminder” that LGBTQ + people are “always at risk of attack because of who we are. are “.

The data, released under freedom of information legislation, was obtained by the PA Media news agency from 37 of the 46 UK forces.

They show hate crimes against the LGBTQ + community were at their highest volume in June, the same month that saw most legal restrictions on coronavirus rules lifted.

Police forces recorded 2,389 homophobic and 371 transphobic offenses, the highest number of any calendar month in the past three years. That works out to about 80 homophobic and 12 transphobic offenses per day, or about double the 38 and six per day in January.

Hate crime is defined by the Home Office as “any criminal offense which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice against someone on the basis of a personal characteristic ”.

Homophobic hate crimes and violent transphobic crimes on track to exceed totals for 2019 and 2020 this year

LGBTQ + organizations have suggested that there could be many reasons for the increase, including more people on the move and the reopening of the nighttime economy.

Same-sex couples were also more visible when they were in public during times of restriction, according to Leni Morris, executive director of LGBT anti-violence charity Galop.

“What we have seen in the pandemic are LGBT + people experiencing forms of abuse and violence that are either exacerbated by the pandemic itself or caused by it,” she said.

“We have people who have been abused and attacked because they were blamed for the pandemic itself, or because the perpetrators believed the pandemic was an act of God – because of the existence of LGBT + people – or because of the community’s association with the last major pandemic in people’s minds, and that is the AIDS pandemic.

The increase in the number of hate crime offenses may reflect improvements in the way they are recorded and greater public awareness of how to report offenses, some forces suggested.

The National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC), which represents the leadership of local forces, said officers “will always pursue actions against perpetrators of hate crimes where there is evidence to do so.”

But Deputy Police Chief Mark Hamilton, head of the NPCC for hate crimes, admitted that with more and more people moving their abuse online in recent years, it might not be possible to lay a charge if a suspect cannot be identified.

Eloise Stonborough, associate director of policy and research at Stonewall, called the increase worrying. She said: “LGBTQ + people have struggled throughout the pandemic, with many without access to vital support networks and spaces during lockdowns.

“It is always disturbing to see an increase in anti-LGBTQ + hate crimes, especially at a time when our communities were more isolated than ever. “

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