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London LGBT Hate Crimes Rise


According to the latest figures, 1,192 homophobic offenses were reported in London in the preceding 12 months, up from 1,008 the previous year. Despite such crimes rising 18.3%, the Metropolitan Police said the increase in reported crimes was a "positive sign" that police were "moving in the right direction," reported the BBC.

The police suggested that the rise shows the LGBT population has a growing confidence with the police force and justice system. Stonewall, a U.K. gay rights group, disagreed with the bureau's justification for the increase in reports.

A study by Stonewall, conducted last year, showed one in five lesbians and gay men surveyed in London had experienced a homophobic incident in the previous three years.

Three quarters of those who experienced a homophobic offense did not report it to the police. Furthermore, seven in 10 people did not tell anyone else about it.

"Over a third of respondents in our research didn't report incidents to the police because they didn't believe the police could or would do anything about them," said a Stonewall spokesman to the BBC.

Amid the contention, Stonewall and the Metropolitan Police have agreed that the number of crimes targeting LGBT people is much higher than the numbers show.

"There has always been under-reporting of crime, particularly sex crime. We know there's been massive underreporting of that offense for many, many years," said the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, according to Pink News. "And that's because victims felt further victimized and traumatized not just by the criminal justice system but also the police."

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