An alarming new investigation into hate crime by BBC Three has found that children under the age of seven have been reported to the police for their involvement in homophobic and transgender hate crimes.
The findings, published in an article on the BBC News website today, also revealed that there has been a 150 per cent increase in recorded transgender hate crimes over the past four years, with recorded homophobic hate crime also having risen by 66 per cent in the same period. Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes at the same time had risen by 72 per cent.
Other key findings from the investigation include the fact that there has been a 10 per cent drop in the proportion of homophobic hate crimes resulting in a charge from almost one in four (23 per cent) in 2014 to just one in eight (13 per cent) in 2017.
The highest rate of recorded homophobic hate crimes were in Merseyside, followed by West Yorkshire, Gwent, South Wales and Leicestershire. However, as the data only accounts for recorded crimes, this could be due to better reporting in these areas.
The investigation found that 70 children under the age of 13, including several under the age of seven, had been reported to the police for homophobic and/or transgender hate crimes since 2014.
Overall data suggested that people in their 20s were most likely to be accused of homophobic hate crimes, while suspects in transgender hate crimes tended to be teenagers or even younger. The age group most likely to report being a victim of homophobic or transgender hate crime are those aged 20-29.
The investigation suggests that younger people could benefit from better education and an overall understanding of sexual orientations and transgender identities.
If you’ve experienced a homophobic or transphobic hate incident, you should report it to the police.
- For more information on homophobic and transphobic hate crime, visit www.stonewall.org.uk
- You can also find advice, support and information from LGBT Foundation. Website | 0345 3 30 30 30
- Samaritans: available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Website | 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI)