LGBT Community Subjected To Hate Crimes Every Day In Rural Communities
A report published by the University of Leicester has shown that members of the LGBT community that live in rural UK are subjected to hate crimes on a daily basis. The report has also stated that the number of these crimes that are reported is so low because victims fear that they will be outed to family and communities, and for fear that the police will not treat the crimes seriously.
A hate crime is any crime that is motivated by a sexual, racial, or other form of prejudice. Although hate crimes can include anything from harassment to vandalism, they typically include violence or threats of violence. Where a crime is deemed to be a hate crime by the courts, it may lead to a longer sentence being handed down to the perpetrator. However, there are concerns that many victims of hate crimes do not report the incidents.
The University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, under the stewardship of Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, has published a report that claims there is a considerably higher rate of hate crimes, especially in rural communities, than are currently being reported to the police. The report claims that, in some cases, victims do not report the crime for fear that the harassment and the crimes will get worse if the police do take action.
The report also suggests that many victims are afraid of being outed to their families and to the wider community, if they report crimes committed against them. Another reason that so many of these crimes go unreported is because the LGBT community does not believe that the police will take reports of this type of hate crime incident seriously. While the police, government, and campaigners have attempted to quell this particular image of lacklustre policing, it apparently still prevails.
The report states that just over 4,000 hate crimes were reported to police, but during the same period, respondents to the Crime Survey for England and Wales suggested more like 39,000 incidents of homophobic hate crimes had been committed.