Police in London don’t really know how bad attacks on transgender people are, because they’re not keeping proper records.
There is a “system-based misgendering of trans victims of hate crime”, according to a study by the think tank Demos and Sussex University.
They discovered that when hate crimes are reported there is no way for police officers to record that the victim was trans or non-binary. The reporting system has only two options, male and female.
Significant gap in data
It means there is a “significant gap in the data”. The Metropolitan Police are failing to understand how bad the problem is, or how best to tackle it.
“When the most at-risk members of our society are not adequately included in hate crime records, the are effectively silenced”, the report says.
The crime records of attacks on transgender people which were reported to police say attacks were split almost equally between males and females. The figures are badly flawed though, because “it is not clear whether these genders relate to male or female, ‘trans male’ or ‘trans female’, or whether individuals have been misgendered by the system.
A picture of trans hate crime
The records did reveal some useful information about transphobic hate crimes in the capital.
- the average age of a victim is 33.
- 86% of crimes are carried out by men.
- attacks tended to be carried out by a small number of people.
- two thirds of crimes were on a public street, a fifth were at home.
A duty to protect
The 18 month long study analysed data from the Met’s Crime Reporting Information System. It concluded that updating the way records are kept would be an opportunity to protect minorities like trans people.
“In an age where hate and prejudice transfer seamlessly from online conversations to our communities, we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us”.
“Part of this process involves the effective reporting and distribution of data on hate crimes.”
Picture Credits: Met logo, Wikimedia Commons. Report cover, Danos think tank.