Hate crimes against gay and transgender people have soared across the North East and North Yorkshire, more than doubling in just five years.

The Northern Echo asked the region’s police forces about the rise and what they’re doing to tackle the problem.

Here’s what they said:



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More than 580 LGBT+ hate crimes were logged by the force over five years, with offences rising from 74 in 2016-17 to 152 in 2020-21, the most recent data available.

Cleveland Police’s Community Safety Superintendent, Emily Harrison, said:

“The increase may be due to increased confidence in victims that police will not tolerate any form of hate crime and will take appropriate action against offenders.

“The fact that more people understand that they are a victim of a hate crime is also a contributing factor and the introduction of third party reporting centres where victims can report they have been subject to a hate crime through means other than the traditional 101/police route has also probably had an effect.

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“People who may not previously have wanted to report directly to police can now report at gay clubs and via third sector organisations and educational establishments to name a few.

“This increased and potentially more attractive means of reporting can contribute to greater numbers but is reflective of a move in the right direction.

“Cleveland Police has developed a plan in relation to LGBTQ+ hate crime, specifically to target this strand of hate crime.

“The force also holds a monthly hate crime scrutiny meeting where repeat victims, outstanding offenders and any so-called hotspots are discussed and addressed. 

“As well as this we hold a bi-monthly strategic hate crime meeting with partners - for a more holistic multi-agency approach to hate crime.

“Finally Cleveland Police has recently appointed a Hate Crime Co-ordinator whose remit is to concentrate solely on increased education, improved investigation and better outcomes for victims.

“We’d urge anyone who believes they are a victim of hate crime to report via the 101 number (always use 999 in an emergency) or online via our website. 

“We will listen to you, and we will offer you support while any investigation takes place.”



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Durham Constabulary saw a rise from 97 offences in 2016-17 to 155 offences in 2020-21, the most recent data available.

More than 700 hate crime offences targeting LGBT+ individuals were recorded by the force in five years.

A Durham Constabulary spokesman said:

“Part of the difference is down to changes in the way offences are recorded, but we also believe that people are growing increasingly confident to come forward and report hate crime to us.

“There is no place for hate crime in our society and no reason why any of our diverse communities should suffer violence or abuse simply because of who they are.

“A large proportion of all hate crimes still go unreported and we want to close that gap.

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“Our community cohesion teams have been doing a lot of work over recent years to increase the LGBTQ+ community’s confidence in policing and therefore we welcome an increase in the reporting of hate crime if it gives us a truer picture of the problem we need to address”.



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Figures for Northumbria show 2,217 LGBT+ hate crimes were recorded in five years – 644 were reported in 2020-21, compared to 287 in 2016-17.

Superintendent Scott Cowie, Northumbria Police’s lead for Hate Crime, said:

“We want to make it clear that anyone who is subjected to any form of threatening, abusive or violent behaviour is a victim of crime and will receive our support.

“When someone is targeted simply because of who they are and what they believe in that is a hate crime.

“We recognise the impact this can have on victims and such offending is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“We have worked hard to build relationships with the communities we are proud to serve and be a part of here in the North East.

“This includes working with the LGBT+ community to increase confidence in reporting such offences.

“We work closely with many LGBT+ charities and organisations and have seen a rise in third party reporting from these groups.

“We would urge anyone who has been the victim of a hate crime to come forward.

“Please be assured you will be supported and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice.

“To report a suspected hate crime, call 101 or visit our website’s online reporting tool.”



The Northern Echo: North Yorkshire Police logo

LGBT+ hate crimes rose across North Yorkshire from 39 in 2016-17 to 148 in 2020-21.

Over five years, the force has recorded nearly 500 offences.

LGBTQ+ Network lead for North Yorkshire Police, Superintendent Ed Haywood-Noble, said:

“I believe the increase in the number of reported LGBTQ+ related Hate Crimes reflects a growth in confidence for people to come forward and report it to us.

“We have worked really hard to engage with local communities around this issue because we know this type of crime remains under reported, and we absolutely recognise that it blights communities and can destroy lives.

“When it is reported to us, we treat it as a priority. Hate Crimes are highlighted in daily management meetings for immediate action, and since 2019 there has been a dedicated role within North Yorkshire Police, to improve our engagement and response around this type of crime.”

A spokeswoman for the force added: “Hate crime is a crime which is committed against a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender or disability.

“Hate crime takes many forms and can be threats and abuse, both online and in person, or physical harm.

“You should always report all incidents of hate to the police, so we can investigate and deal with it robustly. Call us on 101 or dial 999 if someone is in immediate danger.”