Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Britain have almost doubled in the past four years, campaigners said, with one in five people targeted.
A newly-released survey of 5,000 LGBT people by pollster YouGov found 16 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents reported experiencing hate crimes, such as abusive language, threats and violence, in the past year, up from 9 percent in 2013. Transgender people were not included in the 2013 poll.
Gay rights group Stonewall described the trend as “alarming”, with these high levels of abuse leaving many people feeling unsafe in their daily lives and almost a third avoiding certain streets.
Stonewall’s campaigns director Paul Twocock said four in five LGBT people who experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police.
“Although we’ve come a long way in creating legal equality for LGBT people, the reality just hasn’t caught up with that,” Twocock told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Things will only change if people everywhere, whether at work or on the streets, come out for LGBT people and take a stand against hate crimes.”
Although Britain is one of a handful of countries where LGBT people have equal constitutional rights, abuse and discrimination against them remain rife, say activists.