CHESHIRE has seen an increase in the numbers of homophobic and transgender hate crimes being reported.
The news came as the Association of Chief Police Officers published data for the forms of hate crime monitored by the criminal justice system.
In 2010 nationally, police recorded 47,979 crimes where the victim, or any other person, perceived the criminal offence to be motivated by hostility based on a person’s race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or where the victim was perceived to be transgender. This compares with 51,920 crimes in 2009.
Cheshire Police Authority member Moira Chapman said: “We are obviously pleased to see reductions in the incidence of all hate crime nationally and in particular a reduction in racially motivated crime.
“Ironically in Cheshire, there has been an increase in the numbers of reported homophobic and transgender hate crime.
“We know that these crimes have been significantly under-reported in the past and we suspect that more of these crimes take place but for one reason or another, people are reluctant to report it or don’t know that they should.
“However, we are particularly concerned about the low levels of reported disability hate crime despite a great deal of effort being out into supporting people to report it.”
Inspector Mark Watson of the Cheshire Constabulary Communities Unit said: “Hate crime is a vicious and targeted type of crime, often much more hurtful to victims than other types of crime.
“Cheshire Constabulary considers all forms of hate crime as serious and we investigate all reported hate crimes and incidents.”