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Just one in four homophobic hate crimes are reported to police, according to a survey by Stonewall – and two thirds of people who experience hate crime don’t bother even telling their friends or family.
Homophobic Hate Crime: The Gay British Crime Survey 2013 looks in detail at the experiences and extent of homophobic hate crimes and incidents in Britain. The polling of 2,500 people shows that hate crime remains a serious issue across the country. One in six lesbian, gay and bisexual people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last three years.
One in ten (10 per cent) of those who experienced a homophobic hate crime were physically assaulted with almost one in five (18 per cent) victims threatened with violence or the use of force.
One man is reported in the survey as saying, ‘It is not taken seriously enough by authorities. A recent acid attack at a local gay bar relied heavily on Facebook to find the attacker,’ while another said that her friend had his jaw broken by a man outside a nightclub because he is gay.
Michael, 66, from London added: ‘In my lifetime I’ve been physically assaulted three times and hospitalised once on leaving gay venues. Police were not interested on the two occasions I reported the attacks.’
Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said: ‘Despite radical steps to make police forces more accountable to the public these figures show deeply disturbing levels of violence and intimidation still faced every day by lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain. The fact that two thirds of gay people who experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to anyone shows the scale of the challenge facing our criminal justice system.’
Alex Marshall, Chief Executive of the College of Policing, said: ‘The results of this Stonewall survey provide a significant opportunity to review and improve how the police respond to homophobic hate crime. There’s still more to do and we are committed to playing our part in delivering a better service for victims of homophobic hate crime.’