Homophobic abuse is more common than most people think.
If you have been shouted at in the street and called derogatory names or if you have been beaten or robbed or had your property vandalised because of your sexual orientation, it could be classed as either a homophobic hate crime or homophobic hate incident.
But what is the difference?
- any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
- any incident, which may or may not, constitute a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
How to report & what to report?
You can report homophobic hate crime in your area either online or by phone.
You may think that someone calling you names is no big deal, you may be used to it and have experienced it many times before but it is vital that you report any incident of homophobia.
If you do nothing, no one will know what has happened to you and nothing can be done about it. It also means that other people may receive the same or worse abuse.
If you or someone else is in danger then do not hesitate to call 999
Otherwise you can call your local police non emergency number or a third party reporting centre such as the LGF.
“1 in 3 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have experienced some kind of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic attack.”
Remember to say: “I want to report a homophobic hate crime” and make sure this statement is recorded. Recognising the crime or incident as homophobic when reporting it can help with sentencing at a later date if it is found that the homophobic element of the incident has aggravated the offence.
You can also call the LGF on 0845 3 30 3030 (10am-10pm every day) for support and information.
Alternatively, you can report a crime online via your local police force’s website.
What will the police do?
If you call the police, someone will come out and see you and it will be fully investigated, right?
Not all the time. The police will do everything they can to make sure that you feel safe and protected. But what they are doing isn’t always obvious.
When you report a hate crime or incident, the police may not seem to respond to it immediately. But what they will do is use it to build up a picture of where homophobia is happening, what form this is taking and what kind of person is committing it.
This feeds into their intelligence systems, so every day when police officers and Police Community Support Officer’s are briefed about what is happening in their local area and what they should be on the look out for, certain issues can be flagged up and responded to.
Why Report Homophobic Hate?
- Regular homophobic abuse - report each incident as it occurs and make sure that the police link your latest report with all previous reports. Have documents relating to the previous incidents to hand when you call, so that crime numbers and investigating officers’ details can be quoted.
- If you are unhappy - raise your concerns with a senior officer or complaints officer. Consider involving your local councillor, MP, your workplace LGB&T network or trade union, or alert the local and LGB&T media.
- Prosecution takes time - remember it can take a while for it to go to court and for the person(s) to be prosecuted under the law for what they have done.
- Get Support - if you report a crime through the police then they will pass you over to victim support, with your permission. Many LGB&T groups also have helplines and counselling, where further support can be beneficial to come to terms with what has happened.
To contact your local MP or find your local councillor go to: www.writetothem.com
For a society to function and flourish it must be inclusive of all its members. In all areas of our daily lives, we need to seek out and celebrate diversity.
! - Don’t tolerate homophobia. Left unchallenged, homophobia will spread.
! - If you feel that you (or someone else) may be in danger always call 999.
! - If you see a homophobic incident, no matter how small you perceive it to be, REPORT IT!
! - Let everyone know you won’t tolerate homophobia.
! - If you hear friends or family being homophobic, tell them it’s unacceptable.
! - Ask them if they realise how harmful homophobia can be.
Why this information is important
Websites like this are not only accessed by LGB&T people, but also by organisations who are all working to support their LGB&T service users.
Information on homophobic hate crime - and how to report it - should be freely available and well promoted. You'll find all the information you need in these pages. Anything that you don't see here and you think should be, just email us to get it here.