Homophobia behind one in eight hate crimes in Nottinghamshire

Homophobia was behind one in eight hate crimes recorded in Nottinghamshire last year, figures reveal.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 2:43 pm

LGBTQ+ rights charities are calling for action to safeguard the community, as hate crimes based on sexual orientation have almost doubled in the last five years in England and Wales.

Home Office data shows Nottinghamshire Police recorded 203 homophobic and biphobic hate crimes in the year to March – 25 fewer than the year before.

It means someone’s sexual orientation was a motivating factor in 12 per cent of the 1,635 hate crimes recorded in Nottinghamshire last year.

Home Office data shows Nottinghamshire Police recorded 203 homophobic and biphobic hate crimes in the year to March – 25 fewer than the year before.

Charity Galop, which runs an LGBTQ+ hate crime helpline, said the pandemic has fuelled abuse, adding some callers said their attackers believe the outbreak to be a punishment for LGBTQ+ lifestyles.

Leni Morris, Galop chief executive officer, said: “About 70 per cent of same-sex couples avoid holding hands in public for fear of attack, but social distancing has made same-sex couples visible in public – and this has indeed led to attacks.”

She said the crimes have long-term effects on victims, with some changing their behaviour to avoid being targeted again.

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Rise

The figures show transphobia was a factor in 29 hate crimes recorded by Nottinghamshire Police last year.

In England and Wales, transphobic hate crimes more than doubled in the last five years, from 1,195 in 2016-17 to 2,630 last year, while sexual orientation crimes increased from 8,569 to 17,135.

The Home Office said, while the biggest drivers behind the rises were improvements in police recording and increased willingness from victims to come forward, the Government ‘could not be complacent’.

Charity Stonewall says the true scale of hate crimes may be much higher, due to many incidents going unreported.

Excluding figures from Greater Manchester Police, which did not provide data for 2019-20, there were 115,000 hate crimes recorded across England and Wales in the year to March – a 9 per cent rise from 105,000 in 2018-19.

About three-quarters of hate crimes were racially motivated.

In Nottinghamshire, there were 1,253 racially motivated incidents, 77 disability-related hate crimes and 73 linked to religion.

A Home Office spokesman said: “All forms of hate crime are unacceptable. The cowards who commit them should feel the full force of the law."

Nottinghamshire Police has been approached for comment.