September 29th, 2016

Hate crimes against LGBT must be reported

Updated: 9:54 am, May 07, 2015

A GAY councillor is urging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to report hate crimes.

Joe Baker has called on members of the LGBT community living in Redditch to report any homophobic and transphobic incidents after finding out people were reluctant to contact police.

The Greenlands representative said concerns were raised about the number of hate crimes which were not being reported during a LGBT task and finish group set up by Redditch Borough Council.

The group is designed to investigate what support is available for the estimated 5,600 homosexual and transgender people living in the borough.

As part of the task councillors interviewed the town’s district inspector Rebecca Love and Supt Jim Baker from West Mercia Police.

Coun Baker said: “Unfortunately during the meeting there was evidence to suggest members of the LGBT community felt reluctant to report hate crimes to the police.

“I want members of the LGBT to have the confidence to tell police if they are receiving any form of abuse. We have to have a balanced look on this, it is no different to racial or ethnic abuse.

“I would encourage the community to report it and have the confidence in our police force who showed they were really passionate about this.

“They take it very seriously and are committed to investigating any incidents which are reported to them.

Supt Baker said he welcomed the review by Redditch Borough Council.

“We are determined to build the trust of all communities to report such matters either directly to the police or via third parties.” he said.

“The impact of this type of crime is extremely significant not only for the victims, but on their friends, family and the community as a whole.

“We will continue to work with partners to make Redditch an even safer place to live, visit and work.”

Anyone who has been a victim of or has witnessed a hate incident or hate crime should report it to police on 101.

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