Anti-trans hate crimes have increased by a shocking 81%


Only two constabularies out of 36 have seen a drop.

Anti-trans hate crimes have increased by a shocking 81% since 2016. In the last financial year, 1,944 anti-trans crimes were reported. In 2016-2017, this number was 1,073.

36 police forces supplied data surrounding hate crimes, and in 34 of those constabularies anti-trans attacks had increased. In the case for West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police, the amount of anti-trans crimes had trebled.

Wales saw anti-trans attacks more than double with 82 hate crimes reported last year, compared to 37 in 2016-2017. Meanwhile Police Scotland saw an increase from 76 to 92.

Speaking to the BBC, where the full results of each constabulary can be found, Laura Russell, the Stonewall campaigns director, said: “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.”

Julie Cooke, a Deputy Chief Constable from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Traditionally, transphobic hate crimes have been significantly under-reported but 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.”

She added: “We believe some of the increase may be down to better reporting, however, there is always more that can be done.”

Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

Sharing an abuse story that happened to her, Andi Woolford told the BBC: “A guy came out of a block of flats, called me a paedophile, threatened to stab me, smashed my car up, held a dog chain up to my face, just really unbelievable.

“Given what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic and the divisions with Brexit, everything seems to be kind of tribal – oh you’re not in my tribe so therefore I must hate you.”

Although better reporting has happened over the past few years, it should be noted that attacks against the transgender community have increased much more than other protected characteristics.

And in the past five years, anti-LGBTQ crime in general in the UK has more than doubled. In 2013-2014, there were 4,600 reported anti-LGBTQ crimes. In 2017-2018, there were 11,600, an increase of 144%.

Some campaigners have linked the rise in statistics to better reporting, but also warned that the rise could be linked to a rise in right-wing populism in England and Wales.

Taz Edwards-White, an alliance manager at the equalities and diversity organisation Metro, said: “There is a tension, and even within our own LGBT community there is a tension. I believe it’s a direct result of people feeling unsafe due to rise of the rightwing political movement.

“What we see in our services is lots of people experience day-to-day verbal attacks or violence and aggressive language and homophobic attitudes … We do believe the political climate has had an impact: people feel unsafe. What is happening in central government and all the scapegoating has an effect.”

Related: Remembering the 10 trans women who have been killed in the US in 2019


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