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.”
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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.