UK: Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes surge in England and Wales

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, including stalking, harassment and violent assault, have more than doubled in England and Wales over five years, a Guardian analysis has shown. The rate of LGBT hate crime per capita rose by 144% between 2013-14 and 2017-18. In the most recent year of data, police recorded 11,600 crimes, more than doubling from 4,600 during this period.

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Transphobic attacks have soared in recent years, trebling from 550 reports to 1,650 over the period examined. Almost half (46%) of these crimes in 2017-2018 were violent offences, ranging from common assault to grievous bodily harm.

The findings come after two women were attacked on a bus in London for refusing to kiss in front of a group of men. The incident sparked widespread condemnation.

“When this happened, we were really angry,” says Melania Geymonat, 28. “And we decided to tell the story, because this situation needs to change, and maybe this helps a little. For me, it was a moral obligation. Like, this needs to stop. This was a terrible episode, and maybe [if] we say something, we can contribute to something bigger.”

Campaigners said the rise could partly be down to better reporting but added that hatred was growing on British streets because of the rise of rightwing populism. Taz Edwards-White, an alliance manager at Metro, an equalities and diversity organisation, said the hate crime figures were likely to be “the tip of the iceberg”. Read more via the Guardian