One in five LGBT people victims of hate crime, research finds

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More than a fifth of LGBT people have been victims of hate crime in the past year, new research has found.

Leading charity Stonewall found 21 per cent of the UK’s LGBT population had experienced abuse such as insults, unwanted sexual contact and violence – compared to just 16 per cent in 2013.

The figure was almost double for transgender people alone, with 41 per cent of people experiencing hate crime in relation to their gender.

Despite the shocking rise, only 81 per cent of respondents to the survey who had been abused informed the police.

Stonewall’s chief executive Ruth Hunt said: “While we have come so far in the past 25 years, it is clear that much must still be done before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves in Britain today.

“These findings warn against complacency, and stand as a call to action.”

The survey of 5,000 members of the LGBT community in England, Scotland and Wales, carried out by YouGov, included case studies in which victims spoke of being attacked in numerous different environments, ranging from in bars to when trying to find a house.

The organisation has called for the Home Office to review hate crime laws to give them parity with those based on race and faith.

David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “All hate crime is abhorrent. LGBT people, like everyone else, have the right to live safely in the community.”

Minister for countering extremism, Baroness Williams of Trafford, said: “All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable and those who commit these awful crimes should be met with the full force of the law.

“We are clear there can be absolutely no excuse for targeting someone because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We put victims at the heart of everything we do, which is why we work closely with partners to support victims of LGBT hate crime.”

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