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Data published today shows that the number of recorded homophobic hate crimes in England and Wales has surged.

HENDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 07: New recruits to the Metropolitan Police Service take part in their ‘Passing Out Parade’ outside Peel House at Hendon Police College on October 7, 2016 in Hendon, England. 233 recruits took part in the parade which symbolises the completion of their police training in the company of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The Home Secretary also officially opened Peel House, the new facilities at the Police College during the day. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

 

The Home Office data on hate crimes was published today via an annual crime statistics report.

The report reveals that 7,194 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were recorded during the 2015-16 financial year, equating to 20 incidents every day.

1,844 homophobic hate crimes were recorded by London’s police force, the Metropolitan Police, while 494 were recorded in Greater Manchester and 372 in the West Midlands.

British Transport Police, the national police service for the railways, reported 203 incidents – more than one homophobic incident every two days.

1428 transphobic hate crimes were reported across all police forces, remaining stable with the level of reporting in previous years.

Including all forms of hate crime, 62,518 incidents were recorded across 12 months, up 19% from the year ending 2016.

The Office of National Statistics explained that the increase may partly be due to “greater awareness of hate crime and improved willingness of victims to come forward” alongside police officers improving hate crime reporting standards”for violence against the person and public order offences”.

But Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary Brian Paddick, who was previously the United Kingdom’s most senior openly gay police officer, said the figures represent a worrying trend.

Lord Paddick said: “This data shows 1200 hate crimes a week happening in the UK. This is a very worrying trend that we should all be worried about.

“I am convinced that the rise of populism and nationalism is creating a climate that encourages attacks on the vulnerable. These attacks are not just motivated by racism and religion, they include homophobic attacks and attacks on the disabled.

“Politicians all have a responsibility to make it clear that xenophobic and racist behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated”

“The government must address the root causes of this growing intolerance as well as ensuring the police response is sufficient and effective.”

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