The number of transphobic hate crimes reported to the police has almost doubled in the last three years.
There was an 81% increase on average across the country, according to data from 36 of the country’s 44 police forces. In the last financial year 1,944 crimes were reported in those areas, compared with 1,073 in the year 2016-17.
The analysis was carried out by the BBC, who sent freedom of information requests to all police forces in the UK. Eight of them didn’t provide full data, so aren’t included.
The biggest rise in the reported transphobic crimes were in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. Cases reported there more than trebled in the three years.
Suffolk and Merseyside were the only police areas where there wasn’t an increase.
be an ally
The LGBT campaigning charity Stonewall says this is a real life consequence of a society where transphobia is everywhere …. in newspapers and social media, as well as on the streets.
Laura Russell, from Stonewall, said: “We need people to realise how severe the situation is for trans people, and to be active in standing up as a visible ally to trans people, in whatever way they can.”
police can do more
The police believe the increase is at least partly down to people being more likely to report transphobic hate crimes, and a better response from the police.
“Traditionally, transphobic hate crimes have been significantly under-reported”, Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council told the BBC.
“We are working closely with trans groups to increase awareness and understanding of our staff; as well as to build confidence and trust in the police by the trans community.
She says the police accept that there is still more they can do.
when is it a hate crime?
Gender identity is one of the five categories which are protected from hate crimes. The others are religion, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.
The Crown Prosecution Service says a hate crime is “any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice”.
If an attack is shown to be a hate crime punishment is significantly more severe.