Almost half of LGBT+ Londoners say they’ve been a victim of hate crime in the last 12 months, a survey has found.
A new report, commissioned by Pride in London, highlighted a 35% spike in reported hate crime against the LGBT+ community in the capital since same-sex marriage was introduced in 2014.
“Many people think that London is a progressive city, but hate is still a big problem for the LGBT+ community here,” a statement from Pride in London said.
I was attacked and beaten on Oxford Street after leaving a nearby gay bar. Respondent to PIL survey
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, the Metropolitan Police’s lead for combating hate crime, said the crime spike came from an improved confidence in reporting.
But the survey highlighted a number of victims who didn’t take the issue to police.
Two-thirds of those who say they don’t report hate crimes said it’s due to not knowing they were a victim of a crime or believing that the report would not be taken seriously.
Only a third of UK adults that have experienced a hate crime reported it to the police and amongst LGBT+ Londoners this falls to around a fifth (21%).
Chief Superintendent Stringer said: “One of the big issues surrounding hate crime is lack of reporting. This research from Pride in London backs up our experience that LGBT+ people are often reluctant to report a hate crime.”
The majority of those who had been a victim of hate crime had been a victim more than once, the report said, with 35% being victim five times or more.
The incidents, recorded on a survey by Pride in London, ranged from verbal abuse, physical violence and being turned away from services.
″[I received] death threats on the bus,” one respondent wrote.
[We were] shouted at and called 'faggot' on public transport. Respondent to PIL survey
Pride in London co-chairs, Alison Camps and Michael Salter-Church, said: “Reported hate crime is the tip of the iceberg.
“As a community, LGBT+ people face all kinds of daily ‘micro-aggressions’. From having to explain that as a same sex couple you do want a double room in a hotel, to being frowned at for holding your partner’s hand in the street. For a brief time we’re highlighting this across London to raise awareness of the issue.
“2017 marks the 50th anniversary since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Much progress has been made: The abolition of Section 28, the Equal Marriages Act. However, our latest research findings show that if you’re LGBT+ you’re more than twice as likely to experience a hate crime.”
Spat at by two young men shouting 'dyke'. Respondent to PIL survey
Chief Superintendent Stringer added: “The Metropolitan Police is committed to supporting the LGBT+ community and we welcome Pride in London’s campaign that aims to encourage victims of hate crime to come forward and report it.
“Only through better reporting can we better understand the issue, offer support to those who need it, and tackle the root cause in our communities.
“We take hate crime very seriously and would appeal to anyone who witnesses or suffers any hate of any type to immediately report it so that action can quickly be taken and catch those who are responsible.”
A hate-crime awareness campaign has launched alongside the report, featuring posters across the capital.
Holding hands with my girlfriend, we were surrounded and followed by a group of young men who said they could 'fix' us. Respondent to PIL survey
The research surveyed 1,140 LGBT+ people living in London and found trans respondents were disproportionately affected at 57%.
Sexual assaults, other kinds of violence, threatening behaviour and harassment were all part of a 170 per cent rise in crime reports among trans people.
If you’d like to know more about reporting a hate crime, Pride in London has launched a new website hatehappened.com.