Sadly, violence against lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, especially LGBT youth, remains far too common. Research backs up our own experiences of violence - as LGBT youth we can be at greater risk of violence - anything from being beaten up, robbed and raped through to verbally harassment, vandalism and being blackmailed. These are all violent hate crimes but it is only in more recent times that the police have begun to take violent homophobia seriously.
Locally, we are 'luckier' than most - from 31st July 2002 we have a new scheme LGBT Liason Officer to support victims of crime in Brent and beyond.
It is hard to report crimes against us. We may not be out. Maybe we have been bullied and harassed for so long we don't know where to start. And it can take time to report crimes in our busy lives. But the Brent police Liason officer does gives you the chance to report crimes, even anonymously, and to meet up with specially trained officers.
As someone who has been beaten up and harassed for being gay, I never tell anyone you have a duty to report crimes against you. Yes, it can be important to get support - talk to friends (if you can) and maybe contact the Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre first to talk and make your own mind up about what you want to do. But it is up to you. It's just another option - for some of you it may prove a better option than bottling up your experiences, feeling isolated, angry or scared or having to do something more extreme like running away from home to get away from violence. And contact us if you want support about something that has happened to you.
We can put you in touch with the LGBT Liaison officers for Brent.
in emergency always dial 999
Are you experiencing homophobic violence or harrassment?
Need a chat? Brent Police is working in partnership with Mosaic, GALOP and Brent Council to kick prejudice out of Brent.
What is hate crime?
- Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic or transphobic by the victim or any other person
- Any incident intended to have an impact on those who are, or perceived to be, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people.
Who can be a victim of hate crime?
- Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) communities.
- Friends and family members of someone from the LGBT community.
- Anyone perceived to be from the LGBT community.
The police are committed to providing a service to all people according to their needs.
How many crimes are reported in Brent?
- To date few homophobic incidents are reported within Brent (25 in the year 2001/2002)
- It is clear from research and anecdotal evidence that the actual number of attacks is far higher.
Why don't people report homophobic or transphobic crime?
There are many reasons for this including:
- Distrust and bad experiences of the police.
- People not wanting to disclose their sexual orientation.
- People not wanting others in their family to know about it.
- Fear that their sexual orientation will be of more interest to the police than the crime itself.
- Concern by heterosexual victims of homophobia that assumptions will be made.
Brent Police are working together with LGBT community groups - like Mosaic and GALOP - to support victims of hate crime and to combat homophobia.
What happens when you report a crime?
- The Community Safety Unit investigates all homophobic crimes.
- On receiving the initial report, an officer will contact you.
- You will be given the opportunity to talk with a LGBT Liason officer
How will it make it easier to report hate crime?
- 020 8733 3754 available to call or leave a voice mail. Officers will get back to you as soon as possible. Of course in case of an emergency you should always dial 999!
- Anonymous reporting (where you don't leave your name but give details of a crime).
- LGBT Liason Officer can meet you somewhere where you feel comfortable.
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