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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Figures show an increase in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes (UK)

Hate crimes against gay and transgender people in Gloucestershire have risen according to new figures.

Victims reported almost 80 such crimes last year in the county with several areas such as Gloucester and the Forest of Dean seeing a rise in attacks.

These figures from the Safer Gloucester Partnership Research suggested figures were "just the tip of the iceberg", and for every hate crime reported at least five were not.

John Huggins, of The Westgate pub, which is aimed at the gay community, said he believed the figures showed more people were reporting the crimes.

He added: "I've not experienced any homophobia, except a few individuals name calling as they walk past the outside of The Westgate, mainly at night."

In 2005, 24-year-old barman Jody Debrowski, from Stroud, was murdered in a homophobic attack in London. Despite the shock waves his death caused, the county research show hate crime has not gone away here.

The figures show a rise of 11.4 per cent in 2009/10 than 2008/9.

In Gloucester, 23 homophobic crimes were reported to police in 2009/10, an increase of 15 incidents compared to the previous year. Meanwhile the Forest saw a rise with five crimes in 2008/09 rising to 13 in 2009/10 - a 160 per cent increase.

Police spokesman Chris Jackson said: "In the past, some people may have felt an incident was too trivial or insignificant to report and wouldn't be taken seriously, but that is no longer the case.

"People are now far less tolerant of any homophobic or transphobic incidents, realise they are unacceptable and come forward to report them."

This is Gloucestershire