The number of transgender hate crimes recorded by police forces in England, Scotland and Wales has risen by 81 per cent in two years, latest figures show.
The data shows there were 1,944 crimes across a range of forces in the last financial year, compared with 1,073 between 2016 and 2017.
While the Home Office said this was largely due to better reporting and recording, the Stonewall charity said the figures are ‘the real life consequences of a society where transphobia is everywhere’.
The data, which was obtained through a BBC freedom of information request, comes from 36 out of 44 police forces across the UK; eight forces did not provide the full data.
Of those who did provide the full data, Suffolk Constabulary and Merseyside Police were the only forces which recorded fewer crimes in 2018-19 than in 2016-17.
West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police, on the other hand, saw reporting of transgender hate crimes more than treble over the course of three years. And in Wales, the number of hate crimes against transgender people more than doubled in 2018-19 – jumping from 37 to 82.
As per the BBC, Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said transphobic hate crimes have been significantly under-reported in the past.
However, she stated:
We are working closely with trans groups to increase awareness and understanding of our staff, as well as to build confidence and trust in the police by the trans community.
We believe some of the increase may be down to better reporting, however, there is always more that can be done.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said they are ‘committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms, including abuse targeted at transgender people, through the government’s hate crime action plan’.
Laura Russell, Stonewall’s Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, pointed to the organisation’s Trans Report, which found two in five trans people had experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year.
As worrying statistics like this demonstrate, trans people continue to face discrimination and abuse on a daily basis, just for being themselves… We also know from our research that under-reporting is a major issue, with four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes going unreported.
These statistics are the real life consequences of a society where transphobia is everywhere – from the front pages of newspapers, to social media, and on our streets. We need people to realise how severe the situation is for trans people, and to be active in standing up as a visible ally to trans people, in whatever way they can.
The news comes just a little over a month since the World Health Organisation (WHO) passed legislation so that being transgender will no longer be categorised as a mental health condition.
Although this is a step in the right direction for the LGBTQ+ community, this should have been done years ago. In fact, these statistics only emphasise just how little has been done for trans people in the past, and how much more needs to be done today.
It’s 2019, yet horrifyingly, transphobia still remains prominent in every walk of life. And it needs to stop.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).