Figures obtained by the PA News Agency have found that anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime in the UK is at its highest level since the pandemic began, with police officers reporting a stark rise in homophobic and transphobic offences. In total, 14,670 sexual orientation hate crime offences were recorded from January to August 2021, compared with 11,841 within the same months of 2020 and 10,817 in 2019.
Homophobic incidents averaged at 1,456 a month from January to April in 2021 but increased to 2,211 from May to August. Similarly, transphobic offenses jumped from 208 a month to 324 a month over the course of this year, meaning an average of 12 anti-trans hate crimes are committed every day. Stonewall described the findings as “worrying”, adding: “[LGBTQ+ people are] still at risk of attack because of who we are.”
While the figures reflect incidents that have been reported to authorities, it is likely that many more offences have gone unreported. The National Police Chiefs’ Council encouraged victims to come forward, ensuring that officers will “treat everyone with respect and dignity and handle cases sensitively”. Deputy chief constable Mark Hamilton added: “We will always pursue action against perpetrators of hate crime where there is the evidence to do so.”