The Official Statistics for Hate Crime released today appear to show an overall decrease in hate crime reported in England and Wales in 2022/23. This does not reflect what we are seeing in our services – where in the last year alone we have seen a 65% increase in LGBT+ victims of hate crime coming to us for support.
This year’s figures show reported hate crime experienced by the trans community has increased by 11% – this is nearly double the number of transphobic hate crimes reported in 2020/21. For the whole community, there’s been an overall an increase of 37.5% in reported anti-LGBT+ hate crimes in the last two years.
These figures have never captured the true picture of hate crime in this country.
The Government’s own research shows that over 90% of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported – this is a case of poor data not reflecting reality. It’s clear that data collection from police reporting alone does not reflect the true picture of hate crime in the UK.
The next Crime Survey, England and Wales, which would provide better insight, is not due until 2025 – and the last one did not report back on changes in levels of transphobic hate crime. The Government is not trying to better see that picture.
The Government has not prioritised tackling hate crime in this country, and it must not use these figures as an excuse to deprioritise anti-hate crime work further.
Victims do not have access to adequate support across the country. Legislation urgently requires reform. Criminal justice systems are failing to respond to perpetrators.
Every single one of these reports represents someone who has been a victim of abuse or violence because of who they are – and this cannot be allowed to continue.