Criminologists awarded new grant to tackle homophobic transphobic and biphobic hate crime

Leicester criminologists have been awarded a grant from the Equality and Human Rights Commission to lead a new project that tackles homophobic, transphobic and biphobic hate crime in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Dr Neil Chakraborti and Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy from the Leicester Centre for Hate Studies based at the Department of Criminology have been invited to conduct a major new piece of work which addresses the problem of under-reporting amongst Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) victims of hate crime.

The project began at the start of January, and involves a programme of tailored work with LGB&T communities and with local criminal justice agencies, local authorities and a coalition of community and voluntary organisations.

In addition to raising awareness of existing hate crime reporting pathways, this work will identify differences in need and perception across different groups and will identify victims’ expectations of the support required from statutory and voluntary sector service providers.

The project team will then use their fieldwork to create a new and accessible third party reporting structure and to produce an evidence base for how agencies and partnerships can improve existing policy and practice.

Dr Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Leicester Centre for Hate Studies, said: “Although there is strong evidence to show that reporting levels within LGB&T populations are particularly low, little is known about ways to increase reporting and to make members of these communities feel safer and less vulnerable. We therefore welcome this opportunity to identify barriers to reporting, and to develop innovative and sustainable reporting mechanisms.”

Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Lecturer in Hate Studies, said: “This project is especially important as it will address the concerns of LGB&T people who often find themselves on the periphery of decision-making and who are not part of existing consultation exercises. We will be working with a very diverse range of people, including those who are considered ‘hard to reach’ such as people with HIV/AIDS or who have mental ill-health, and those who do not identify with or feel represented by mainstream lesbian, gay and bisexual groups”.