What is a hate crime?
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s: disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
This can be committed against a person or property.
A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
Crime figures show that there is significant under-reporting of LGB and T hate crime.
There are an estimated 39,000 homophobic and biphobic hate crimes each year in England and Wales (An overview of Hate Crime in England and Wales, 2013). However, this figure is nine times higher than the corresponding police recorded total of 4,267 (Home Office, ONS and Ministry of Justice, 2013).
Compared with other police monitored areas of hate crime, hostility towards a person’s sexual orientation is more likely to be violent in nature (Creese and Lader, 2014).
For example, research conducted by Stonewall (Guasp et al., 2013) found that:
- Eight in ten lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) people had been verbally abused and harassed.
- One in eight LGB people had received unwanted sexual contact.
- One in ten LGB people had been physically assaulted.
Transphobic hate crimes are notably lower with significant variation across forces in their recording of incidents.
To help prevent and tackle LGB and T hate crime this project will see us:
- Working with civil society organisations, Governments and criminal justice agencies to encourage greater reporting, recognition and recording of hate crimes.
- Establishing new third-party reporting channels where none currently exist.
- Building knowledge and understanding of LGB and T hate crime in criminal justice agencies to improve recognition, recording, prevention and responsiveness.
- Supporting networks and local contact between LGB and T communities and criminal justice agencies – particularly in rural areas where reporting is notably low – to help deliver sustained improvements to prevention, reporting and responsiveness.
Last updated: 22 Apr 2016