In the three months that has seen the UK come to terms with the impending likelihood of Brexit, hate crimes against LGBT people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have more than doubled.
Galop, an LGBT anti-violence charity, released the new findings that parallel the EU vote and the increase in attacks against queer individuals, with 4 in 5 LGBT people having experience homophobia of some kind in the period between July to September. The statistics declared that a quarter of hate crimes had been violent, a third were subjected online and a tenth included sexual assault.
Galop have provided care and support for 187 victims in the period since the Brexit vote, 115 more than in the same period last year. The increase comes following more than 3,000 complaints related to hate crimes in the week before and after the vote in June.
Statistics released by the Home Office this week confirmed an overall increase of all hate crimes by 41% since June. In July, 5468 hate crimes were reported across the UK, significantly higher than the month before the referendum.
“There Increases fit the widely reported pattern of an increase in hate crime following the EU referendum”, the report stated.
Britain’s most senior police officer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe described the increase in attacks against gay people as a “horrible spike” and claimed the referendum vote was “at least” partly linked to the increase.
Nik Noone, Galop’s chief executive, said: “UK responses to hate crime are among the best in the world but our hate crime laws are far from perfect. The highest prison sentence a court can give for homophobic, transphobic or disability common assault is six months. That is just a quarter of the two-year maximum for race and faith common assault. This disparity needs redress.”
Words // Dean Eastmond