Unmesh Desai urges Newham residents to fight against homophobic hate crime this LGBT+ History Month
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
People in Newham are being urged to report homophobic hate crimes, whether they are victims or witnesses.
London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai said: “There is overwhelming evidence that hate crimes, particularly those committed against the LGBT+ community, are woefully under-reported. We need to turn that around.”
He explained that the more information the police have, the better the chance of catching perpetrators, and added: “Many people aren’t aware that a hate crime does not have to be committed against them directly in order for it to be reported – they can tell the police what they witnessed too.”
Mr Desai made the call as part of LGBT+ History Month, which marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.
He added: “We have come a long way since discriminatory anti-gay laws were on our statute books, but hate crimes remain a blight on our city. I will continue to call on the Mayor to do everything he can to stamp out this despicable behaviour.”
Metropolitan Police data reveals that there were 44 homophobic hate crimes reported in the borough last year, compared to 54 in 2015.
However, hate crimes are often under-reported, so the true figure may be much higher.
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In December, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced plans to launch an online hate crime hub and roll out Hate Crime Victims’ Advocates across London to tackle this type of offence.