File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
In the year to March 2020 in England and Wales, sexual orientation hate crimes rose by 19 per cent to 15,835, and transgender identity hate crimes by 16 per cent to 2,540, averaging more than 50 reports each day
The government data for England, Wales and Scotland has revealed that since 2015, hate crimes related to sexual orientation and gender identity have increased.
In the year to March 2020 in England and Wales, sexual orientation hate crimes rose by 19 per cent to 15,835, and transgender identity hate crimes by 16 per cent to 2,540, averaging more than 50 reports each day.
Just two weeks ago, Ranjith “Roy” Kankanamalage, who is 50-years-old, was discovered with a fatal head injury in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, east London.
As per the police, the attack was motivated by homophobia and a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
In another such instance, a couple called Rob and Patrick was attacked with broken bottles in Birmingham’s gay village.
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and wounding.
In Liverpool, during Pride month, hundreds of people joined a protest on June 22, after at least three street attacks on young men within the space of a few weeks.
While speaking with The Guardian, local activists and national campaigners revealed that this spate of attacks across the UK underscores a climate of fear endured by the LGBTQ+ community on the streets.
Sasha Misra, the associate director of campaigns at the LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall, was quoted by The Guardian as saying, "The recent incidents in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool and London are a stark reminder that in 2021, lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people do not feel safe to be ourselves".
She also highlighted the Stonewall data from 2017 indicating that four in five such incidents go unreported, with LGBTQ+ victims often reluctant to go to the police.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for hate crime, deputy chief constable Mark Hamilton backed her as he said, "Traditionally, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have been significantly underreported,” he said, though he argued that the work of
LGBTQ+ liaison officers with specific responsibility for building community links was among initiatives that were paying off.
“We believe some of the increase may be down to better reporting.”
However, the local activists have described this as an escalation in public hostility.