Brexit could result in an increase of LGBT hate crimes, according to a police watchdog.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) revealed hate crimes towards the LGBT+ community rose during the 2016 referendum and they warned it is likely to rise again when the UK leaves the EU at the end of March next year.
The report read: “Police forces should prepare for this eventuality.
“Police should make sure that the recommendations in this report are used in the future to improve the police response to hate crime victims.”
Currently hate crime accounts for around two per cent of all crimes reported to the police but during 2016-2017 the number of recorded incidents rose by 57 per cent compared with 2014-2015.
The report also recommended that police in England and Wales need to tackle “significant problems” while handling hate crime cases.
It took an average of five days for police to visit up to 73 victims – while a shocking 65 were not seen at all.
In one case assessment, the report revealed: ‘A 17-year-old gay victim was assaulted, and received facial injuries.
“The victim called the police and said she believed this had happened because she was gay.
“The control room operator did not assess the victim as being vulnerable and did not flag the incident as being hate-related.
“An officer later visited the victim and made a crime report which was incorrectly recorded as a racial/religiously aggravated assault.”