A new study has found that a massive three out of four lesbian, gay and bisexual victims of hate crimes in Britain don’t report the incidents to police.
The survey of 2,500 people, conducted by YouGov for LGBT rights groups Stonewall, shows that hate crime remains a serious issue across the country.
It revealed that one in six lesbian, gay and bisexual people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last three years.
One in ten of those who experienced a homophobic hate crime were physically assaulted with almost one in five victims threatened with violence or the use of force. Worryingly, more than eight in ten gay people who suffered a hate crime or incident reported harassment, insults or intimidation.
“Despite radical steps to make police forces more accountable to the public these figures show deeply disturbing levels of violence and intimidation still faced every day by lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain,” said Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Ruth Hunt.
“The fact that two thirds of gay people who experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to anyone shows the scale of the challenge facing our criminal justice system.”
Alex Marshall, Chief Executive of the College of Policing, commented that: “The results of this Stonewall survey provide a significant opportunity to review and improve how the police respond to homophobic hate crime. There’s still more to do and we are committed to working with forces, police and crime commissioners and wider stakeholders to ensure we play our part in delivering a better service for victims of homophobic hate crime.”
Stonewall has also launched a practical guide for police forces on how to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Protecting lesbian, gay and bisexual people: A practical guide for police forces has been sent to all police forces, Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.