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Research suggests most hate crimes against LGB and T victims go unreported

Fear of how they will be treated is leading to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGB and T) not reporting hate crimes. As a result perpetrators are evading justice, according to a new report conducted by researchers from the University's Centre for Hate Crime Studies and published today.

Evidence nationally suggests around 35,000 cases of hate crime committed against people because of their sexual orientation go unreported every year.

The work is supported by GB governments and produced for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The report from the Centre for Hate Studies reveals that 88 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people had experienced some form of hate incident leaving them with emotional and physical scars. Based on in-depth interviews in Leicester and Leicestershire the report also states only 14 per cent of LGB victims reported their most recent experience of hate crime to the police.

Additional national evidence in the report shows that while victims of transphobia can be targeted up to 50 times in one year, only three in ten reports the incident.

Report author, Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy (pictured) said: “Hate crimes are a routine, and mostly unreported feature of many LGB and T people’s daily lives.

“Simply expecting victims to report without taking meaningful action to dismantle perceived and actual barriers is futile, particularly when the evidence shows that many have little confidence in the capacity of authorities to act empathetically or effectively.”

The publication of the report coincides with a major new campaign to raise awareness of LGB and T hate crime by a partnership of 31 organisations, funded by the Commission.

With the message of ‘Recognise it. Report it.’ the campaign will empower LGB and T people to stand up against hate crime through education and training as well as establishing local partnerships. Led by the LGBT Consortium, this is the first time that groups from across England and Wales have come together to tackle hate crime, with a focus on rural communities where reporting is especially low.

The report makes a series of recommendations to tackle the issues surrounding reporting of hate crimes. These include; increased community outreach by police to build trust with LGB and T communities; an increase in third party reporting systems where needed; increasing awareness of how and where to report hate crime and looking at what can be learned from the reporting of other types of hate crime.

Watch a video, 'Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender hate crime: Aaron’s story', by the Equality and Human Rights Commission below:

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