What is homophobic crime?If someone becomes a victim of crime because of their sexuality, this is classed as a crime where one of the main motivations is homophobia.
Homophobic hate crime can happen anywhere and is often based on prejudice and stereotypes.
Any homophobic crime is taken very seriously by the police and the reporting of homophobic crimes is treated as seriously as racial hate crimes.
Types of homophobic crimeHomophobic crime can affect victims in many ways.
Someone could be assaulted or robbed because their attacker does not like anyone they see as different to them.
Other victims might have homophobic graffiti and slogans painted on their house or belongings by people who think someone living there is gay.
Homophobic bullyingAt school you might be bullied because others think you are gay. Although this isn't a crime you can report to police, being bullied is still an upsetting experience which you shouldn't put up with.
Bullying doesn't just happen at school. People can be harassed, victimised or picked on at work because their colleagues think they're gay.
Whether you're at school or work, you should let a teacher or manager know if you're being bullied so they can do something about it.
Reporting a homophobic crimeIf you've been a victim of a crime, or witnessed a crime taking place and think there may have been a homophobic motive behind it, you should tell the police when you are giving your statement.
Victims of homophobic crime might be reluctant to report the incident to the police because they're not comfortable talking about their sexuality to people they don't know. They might feel they will not be listened to or taken seriously.
Most local police forces have a special unit dedicated to dealing with incidents of homophobic crime. Officers who work in these units have had special training on how to deal with issues of homophobia. If you'd feel more comfortable talking to someone like this, ask to speak to them when you contact the police station.
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