Transphobic hate crimes surge to record highs in UK, alarming report confirms

Hate crimes in England and Wales have hit a frightening new record high in 2022, according to a new government report.

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Thousands of people pass through Soho on a London Trans+ Pride march from the Wellington Arch. (Getty)

 

 

New statistics from the Home Office, published on Thursday (6 October), detailed at least 155,841 recorded hate crimes from March 2021 to March 2022.

According to the report, hate crimes rose by about 26 per cent from the previous year. This is the most significant increase in reported hate crimes since 2016/17, when stats showed a 29 per cent increase compared to 2015/16.

Figures suggest transphobic hate crimes have gone up by a shocking 56 per cent.

The Home Office defines a hate crime as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.”

These characteristics include race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or gender-diverse identity.

According to Home Office statistician John Flatley, who was responsible for the report, the increase is partly due to “significant improvements” local police forces have made in recording and defining hateful attacks.

The report also noted that lower levels in the previous 12 months may have been due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The number of recorded incidents, however, did not fall during lockdowns.

A 56 per cent rise in transphobic hate crime

These alarming statistics are being blamed by some on the increase in hateful rhetoric seen in the media and political campaigns across the country.

Of the total recorded number, 26,152 cited sexual orientation as a motive, 4,355 were recorded as transgender-related hate crimes, while a staggering 109,843 were related to race and 14,242 were due to disability.

Racially motivated hate crimes increased by 19 per cent, religious incidents rose by 37 per cent, and sexual orientation-related incidents rose by 43 per cent.

Protesters draped in Rainbow Pride and Transgender flags wait to take part in a London Trans+ Pride march. (Getty)

 

Speaking on the report, LGBTQ+ victim support group Galop said in a statement posted to Twitter the data is the result of “transphobic narratives in the media and at a senior political level.”

“Let us be clear – there is a direct line between words and violent acts against our community, and [there] always has been,” it said.

“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.”

The correlation between harmful rhetoric and reported hate crimes has been well-documented in the past.

In 2019, Boris Johnson’s comments comparing veiled Muslim women to letterboxes led to a 375 per cent increase in anti-Muslim incidents.

Additionally, 42 per cent of street-based incidents reported to the abuse monitoring group Tell Mama directly referenced Johnson’s comments.

 

 

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