Three in four LGB people still don’t report hate crime to police

One in six experienced a hate crime or incident in last three years
Two thirds did not report it to anyone

Major new polling by Stonewall shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual people remain at serious risk of suffering violent abuse and intimidation in Scotland. Homophobic Hate Crime: The Gay British Crime Survey looks in detail at the experiences and extent of homophobic hate crimes and incidents in Scotland and the wider GB. The polling of 2,500 people, conducted by YouGov for Stonewall, 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 of those who experienced a homophobic hate crime were physically assaulted with almost one in five victims threatened with violence or the use of force. Worryingly, more than eight in ten lesbian, gay and bisexual people who suffered a hate crime or incident reported harassment, insults or intimidation.

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: ‘One year on from the formation of a single Scottish police service it is clear that violence and intimidation are still part of the lived day-to-day experience for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Scotland. The fact that two thirds of victims of homophobic hate crime didn’t report the incident to anyone shows the scale of the challenge facing Police Scotland, criminal justice agencies and Community Safety Partnerships.’

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson said: ‘Stonewall’s report highlights that homophobic hate crimes and incidents are a serious problem in Scotland, and worryingly that the vast majority of these crimes go unreported. There is still more work to do to tackle this problem and Police Scotland is committed to working with communities and stakeholders to ensure we deliver the best possible service for victims of homophobic hate crime.’

The Scottish report was launched at a seminar at the Scottish Police College on Tuesday 1st April addressed by Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson. Stonewall Scotland has also launched a practical guide for police and Community Safety Partnerships on how to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people: A practical guide for policing in Scotland, sent to all Police Scotland Divisional Commanders, Deputy Chief Constables and Community Safety Partnerships, sets out simple and practical steps they can take to enable them to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

Read the full report here. 

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