Today’s official hate crime figures reflect the experience of our community in 2022. With reported hate crime up overall by almost a third, these figures show a 41% increase in hate crime against LGB people and a staggering 56% increase in transphobic hate crimes in this country over the last year.
Some will try to say this increase is just showing that the LGBT+ community’s trust in the police is improving – that this is not an increase in incidents, but in people coming forward. We strongly do not believe that to be the case. Demand for our hate crime support services, including the National LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline, has grown by 19% in just the last six months.
Transphobic narratives in the media, and at a senior political level, have been allowed to grow unregulated, unchecked, and unchallenged. That translates into violence against our community – particularly for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. Let us be clear – there is a direct line between words and violent acts against our community, and always has been.
Hate crimes against LGBT+ people continue to be viewed as lesser in the eyes of the law, with far lower sentencing lengths than other forms of hate crime and no protection for trans people against those stirring up abuse and violence against them.
Even legislation proposed to make us safer – the recently stalled ban on conversion practices – is no longer proposing to cover trans people, as though some of us are less deserving of protection. Combined with a growing hostile atmosphere for our community in the media and public life, this is giving a message to those who would do us harm that this is acceptable in this country.
This cannot continue. Every one of the 30,507 reports in today’s data represents an LGBT+ person who has experienced abuse and violence for who we are. We need reform and protections now – for all of us, and for all other minoritised communities facing hate, violence and abuse in the UK today.