What is homophobic crime?If someone becomes a victim of crime because of their sexuality, then this is classed as a crime where homophobia is one of the main motivations.
Homophobic hate crime can happen anywhere and is often based on prejudice and stereotypes.
Any homophobic crime will be taken very seriously by the police. Sentences for crimes proven to have a homophobic motive behind them will be tougher and the reporting of homophobic crimes will be treated as seriously as racial hate crimes.
Types of homophobic crimeHomophobic crime can affect victims in many ways. For example, someone could be assaulted or robbed because their attacker does not like people who they see as different to them.
Other victims may have homophobic graffiti and slogans painted on their house or belongings by people who suspect that someone who lives there is gay.
Homophobic bullyingAt school, you may be bullied because others think you are gay. Although this isn't a crime that you can report to the police, being bullied is still an upsetting experience and you shouldn't put up with it.
Bullying doesn't just happen at school. You may be being harassed, victimised or picked on at work because your colleagues think you're gay.
Whether you're at school or work, you should let a teacher or a manager know if you're being bullied so that 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 you think that there may have been a homophobic motive behind it, you should mention this to the police when you are giving your statement.
Victims of homophobic crime may 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 may feel that they will not be listened to or taken seriously.
Most local police forces have a special unit that's 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.
Directgov © Crown copyright