Met Police encourage LBGT+ community to report cases of hate crime

Romford Pride, Havering's first ever LGBT+ event, took place last summer. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Romford Pride, Havering's first ever LGBT+ event, took place last summer. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Police are supporting the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) today, May 17 by reminding members of the LGBT+ community to report cases of hate crime so they can be fully investigated.

The Met's own LGBT+ Network is marking the day by hosting a series of talks by special guests including the deputy mayor for policing and crime, Sophie Linden, and Amy Lamé, the mayor's first night czar.

Supt Waheed Khan, the Met's lead on hate crime, said: "Abusing someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a hate crime and across the Metropolitan Police Service we have seen a steady increase in the reporting over the past few years. This is in part due to the growing willingness of victims to report crime and the improved awareness by police, along with the continued work with partners to identify offences and support victims.

"The Met has hate crime co-ordinators working within each of the 12 Basic Command Units who are available to offer support and give practical assistance and advice to those who have been abused because of their sexuality.

"We also have close links with third party reporting groups such as TruVision, Tell Mama and Galop in order to gain a fuller understanding of hate crime and the extent of under-reporting. We continue with proactive engagement dialogue with a range of communities to reassure and find ways to work together."

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Ms Linden, said: "The mayor and I take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime in London - a city where diversity is respected and celebrated. It is unacceptable that any Londoner or any visitor to our great city should be victimised because of their sexual orientation or who they are.

"It is hugely encouraging to see more people coming forward and showing confidence in reporting instances of hate crime. City Hall has invested £7m funding in tackling hate crime and supporting victims, and increasing awareness and education on hate crime in schools and communities. We know the Met has made huge progress in tackling all forms of hate crime but it's clear more needs to be done and the police have City Hall's full support in enforcing the law against anybody who commits these crimes."

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Since 2011, the number of recorded hate crimes has increased significantly from 9,854 to 17,386 in 2018 (an increase of 76per cent).

Between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018, 2,280 homophobic and transgender hate crimes were recorded by officers in London. This number had increased to 2,688 during the same period a year on.

Supt Khan adds: "Whilst we have seen an uplift in victims reporting their abuse to police, LGBT+ hate crimes are still hugely under reported and no one should suffer in silence.

"If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked in any way by someone because you are or they think you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT+) please report these crimes to the police.

"London is such a diverse and tolerant city, however too many people still feel marginalized, or worse, intimidated, to go about their daily lives due to their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

"Officers across London continue to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage victims to come forward. We are aware that hate crime is under reported, which is why we will continue to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of all communities so victims feel they can come forward."

Ms Lamé concludes: "We've come a long way in the fight for LGBTQI+ equality, but people in our city are still facing discrimination and prejudice because of their sexuality or identity. The mayor is clear that any kind of abuse directed at the LGBTQI+ community has absolutely no place in our city and I urge anyone who experiences this to report it to the police immediately."

If you or someone you know is suffering hate crime, or has suffered hate crime in the past, please contact police on 101. You can also report hate crime through the MPS website. In an emergency always dial 999.

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