50 years ago England & Wales took their first steps towards equality for all sexualities by passing a law that partially decriminalised consensual sex between men.

In 2017 LGB people in England & Wales enjoy most of the same legal rights as those who are straight. But it’s been a long and hard fought battle, and we’re still far off a truly equal society.

Hate crime hotspots

The map below shows which parts of England & Wales suffer the highest levels of homophobic hate crime.

To make this map we took official police data on reported homophobic hate crimes. We then used a survey from the Office for National Statistics on LGB populations to work out a crime rate per 10,000 LGB people in each region. Although this doesn’t include LGB people who aren’t ‘out’ it still gives us an idea of the distribution of LGB people throughout England & Wales.

This is a stark reminder that hate crime can happen anywhere in England & Wales.

7,194 homophobic hate crimes were reported to police between April 2015 and March 2016. This shows that although we celebrate the immense progress we’ve made, we are some way off full acceptance in the wider community.

Experiencing hate crime

“Since being physically attacked I feel so much more self-conscious about holding my partner’s hand or being affectionate.”

In September 2015, David Lees and his boyfriend were walking home from a party holding hands when a man shouted "faggots" at them.

David and his boyfriend turned and challenged the man about his language. Instantly he became confrontational, pushing David and his boyfriend. The situation escalated when the man was passed a bottle, which he then threw at David.  

The group forced David and his boyfriend to the ground, kicking them in the face and ribs. By the time the police arrived the attackers had disappeared.

Moving forward

Hate crimes may cause lasting physical and emotional damage. They can cause despair, anger, and anxiety. They spread fear and mistrust in communities and weaken the social glue that binds us all together. We must do everything we can to battle against it.

We must remember that the law can only go some way to achieving equality. The rest is down to us.

We must all continue to challenge the attitudes and beliefs that drive these crimes.

Love is a human right. That’s why although we’re proud of how far we have come, we’re not going to give up fighting for LGBTI+ rights until everyone feels 100% safe to love whom they choose.

Join our LGBTI network for all the latest updates on how we’re fighting for true equality for all sexualties.

You can also read our full briefing on tackling hate crime of all kinds here.

Reporting hate crime

Hate crimes are those committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. They can include:

  • Threatening behaviour
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Damage to property
  • Inciting others to commit hate crimes
  • Harassment

If you are victim of a hate crime, or witness one committed against someone else, you should report this to the police.

In case of emergency always dial 999.

If it is not an emergency you can report hate crimes by calling 101, contacting your local police, or by reporting online.