Homophobic attacks in Shropshire look set to quadruple
Homophobic attacks are on course to quadruple in Shropshire since 2014, it can be revealed.
Between January and September 2017, there were 56 homophobic attacks recorded by West Mercia Police officers in the county – an average of 6.22 attacks a month.
This compares to 2014 when there were a monthly average of 1.58 attacks recorded – totalling 19 across the full year.
In the past decade, 349 homophobic attacks have been recorded by the police force.
Chief superintendent Charles Hill, hate crime lead for West Mercia Police, said that while the increase is a concern, he welcomed the rise in victims coming forward.
He said: “Any rise in crime is concerning especially when it is crime committed against people because of their sexuality. We are committed to tackling hate in all of its forms.
“We do however welcome the fact that more people are having the confidence to come forward and report when they have been a victim of homophobic crime.”
“We know that hate crime of all types is underreported and we have done a lot of work to give more victims the confidence to come forward.
“It is important that people who are being victimised because of who they are don’t suffer in silence.
“Police will investigate and we will offer support.”
Officers are alerting members of the LGBT community to an Independent Advisory Group, which officers support to victims of hate crime.
Chief inspector Sarah Chaloner added: “We have an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which contains members of the LGBT community. These groups offer impartial advice on a range of different issues including hate crime. We are currently looking for new members.”
If anyone would like to join the IAG and help to shape the future of policing in Shropshire then they should get in touch.”
Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated towards someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
For more information on becoming an IAG member in Shropshire call Katrina Gilman on 01952 214 637 or email firstname.lastname@example.org