Hate crimes against Trans people rise by 56% in the UK

The number of incidents related to a victim's sexual orientation also increased by 41% in the last year.

A protest for Trans rights in the UK, where hate crimes rose in the last year.
Image: Via Twitter - @ConorClark

According to the latest annual report published by the Home Office in the UK on October 6, the number of hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in the last year has reached a new high. The official statistics indicated that incidents involving Trans people in particular have risen by more than 50%.

The total number of hate crime incidents recorded by the UK police in the 12 months that preceded March 2022 reached 155,841, marking an increase of 26% from the previous year and making it the largest rise since 2017.

In particular, the UK police registered that incidents of hate crimes where the bias motive was linked to the perceived sexual orientation of the victim rose by 41%. The rise in offences against Trans people is particularly concerning, as it amounts to 56%, with a total of 4,355 transphobic incidents recorded this year.

According to the Home Office report, social media may have played a key role in the rise of anti-Trans violence. “Transgender issues have been heavily discussed on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in related hate crimes,” the report states.

While discussions on social media are surely a contributing factor, in recent months a rise in anti-Trans discourse has been registered among media and politicians in the UK as well, which prompted the Council of Europe to deem it a “country of concern” for Trans people in January this year.

Speaking to Dazed, Communications Officer for Trans youth charity Gendered Intelligence Cleo Madeleine said: “The Home Office has identified social media as an exacerbating factor in the rise of hate […] This is a model that we are increasingly seeing used by far-right groups to target and shut down those who support the Trans community.”

“But social media is not in and of itself the root of this evil.” continued Madeleine, “This hate stems from a government that proudly installs long-term opponents of LGBT+ rights in positions of power, from a human rights watchdog that undermines the equalities law it ought to uphold, and from media outlets that constantly push the narrative that Trans people are threats.”

The Home Office report also highlighted new highs for racist hate crimes, which registered an increase of 19% from the previous year, and for disability offences, which rose by 43%. The most common type of offence reported was public order offences, such as verbal abuse and harassment in public. 22% of the cases concerned stalking and harassment, 13% were violence without injury and 6% violence with injury.

The report also noted that it is unclear whether the increase in the number of hate crimes registered this year stems from genuine rises or from an increased awareness of the topic of hate violence. “It also thought that growing awareness of hate crime is likely to have led to improved identification of such offences,” the report stated. “It is difficult to assess whether the increase in the last year is a continuation of this trend, or whether the rise in hate crime is, in at least part, genuine.”

Moreover, it should be considered that a certain form of increase was to be expected, due to the lower numbers registered last year because of the restrictions related to the COVID pandemic.

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