LGBT hate crimes up 82% in four years, poll shows

The number of LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime in Wales has risen by 82% in four years, figures have shown. Stonewall Cymru said the number had increased from 11% in 2013 to 20% in 2017.  The survey was based on YouGov polling of 1,272 LGBT people in Wales.

Stonewall said there was "still a huge amount of work we need to do before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves".

The 2017 poll has been timed to coincide with a major new campaign, Come Out for LGBT. The survey revealed 23% of LGBT people in Wales have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last 12 months.

'Protecting rights'

It also found 39% of respondents said they felt scared to hold hands with a partner in public, with the figure rising to 57% among gay men specifically.

The charity did note that trans people's experiences of hate crime were included in the report for the first time in 2017 and that hate crime was more effectively recorded than in the past. But it added there had undoubtedly been "a genuine increase" in incidents since its last major survey in 2013.

Andrew White, director of Stonewall Cymru, said: 'While we have come a long way in improving lesbian, gay, bi and trans rights in Wales, it is clear there is still a huge amount of work we need to do before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves. This research shows us that we cannot be complacent when it comes to protecting the rights we have fought so hard to achieve. We now need to work together, to bring forward the day when no individual faces hatred or discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

The report includes harrowing accounts of abuse:

Gethin, 42, said: "I had bleach thrown at me, bricks through the windows, I had fireworks taped to the windows and blown out and my boyfriend was beaten half to death."

Freya, 21, said: "I was assaulted by a man whilst I was holding hands with my lesbian partner. He grabbed me from behind and thrust himself into me, then verbally attacked me."

Macsen, 23, said: "Once I was walking a friend to their university because they were feeling suicidal, so I was holding their hand. A man I did not know spat at me and hissed 'dyke' at me."