In 2015/16, there were 62,518 offences recorded by the
police in which one or more hate crime strands were deemed to be a motivating
factor. Of these hate crimes, 7,194 were homophobic hate crimes, which is 12%.
Offences recorded for all five of the monitored hate crime strands increased
between 2014/15 and 2015/16 (Home Office, 2016). Stonewall, an LGBT rights
charity, has also given evidence that there has been an increase in LGB hate
crimes and incidents in the past few years. In 2013 they conducted a survey of
over 2,500 lesbian, gay and bisexual people throughout Britain to find out if
they had experienced a homophobic hate crime – looking at the extent of the
crimes, where and when they were committed, and how the victims respond. They then did a similar study in 2017 of a
bigger sample of 5,000 people. They found in 2013 that 1 in 10 LGB people in
the last year had experienced a hate crime. In 2017 this had escalated to 1 in
6 – the percentage rising from 9% in 2013 to 16% in 2017 (Stonewall, 2013).
Young people are the most at risk from these types of hate crimes and incidents
with 33 per cent of LGB people aged 18 to 24 experiencing one in the last year.
Compared to 1 in 5 white people, a third of black and minority ethnic lesbian,
gay and bisexual people had experienced a hate crime based on their sexual orientation
in the past year – they were twice as likely to report homophobic attacks being
a problem in their area than white LGB people. The area in Britain that has
experienced the most homophobic hate crimes in the past 12 months was the North
East England with 35% of LGB people. The areas that experienced the least were
North West England and Yorkshire & the Humber, both with 18% of LGB people.
Appendix A provides a table of the percentages for all areas in Britain
Similar to the aforementioned case of Ian Baynham in
2009, in 2016 a case made the news as a man in Nottingham had been left
“fighting for his life” after a homophobic attack in which he was viciously
wounded and robbed by two men who shouted homophobic abuse at him (West Bridgford
Wire, 2016). Homophobic abuse or harassment is the most common type of hate
crime received by lesbian, gay and bisexual people with nearly nine in ten
people reporting experiencing it. This was followed by unwanted sexual contact
and threats of violence experienced by 26% of LGB people – 13% reported being
physically assaulted. This causes a lot of LGB people to feel unsafe and makes
them want to hide who they are – 36% said they don’t feel comfortable holding
their partners hand in public (The Independent, 2017). Four in five LGB people
did not report their hate crime or incident to the police, and a huge 71% did
not report it to anyone. However, there has been a rise in reporting to the
police in the past three years but this is due to the amount of homophobic hate
crimes being committed increasing.