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TRANSPHOBIC hate crimes in Essex have risen by five per cent in the last year, said Essex Police.
Between September 2018 and August 2019, 78 hate crimes were recorded against transgender citizens across the county.
But the force claimed the true number of offences was likely to be higher, saying: “We know that offences against the transgender community, as with other hate crimes, are vastly under reported.”
Essex Police has been releasing hate crime statistics every day to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Figures already released showed that homophobic hate crimes in Essex had shot up by 40 per cent in the last year, whilst disabled residents suffered hate crimes at a rate of roughly one per day.
Basildon mayor David Burton-Sampson – a Stonewall champion and chairman of the borough’s Pride Committee – said he believed rising hate crime was being fuelled by incendiary rhetoric from high profile politicians.
Essex Police said it was taking proactive steps to make sure transgender victims felt comfortable coming forward.
A police spokesman said: “Whether you’re suffering harassment, verbal or written abuse, or being assaulted for being transgender, we want to help you get the support you need, whether or not you decide to report the incident.”
The force’s Chief Constable raises the transgender flag every November to mark International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which pays tribute to people who have been murdered over their gender identity.
The force said it also worked with organisations like Outhouse East and Transpire, which offer support to transgender hate crime victims.
Both organisations have hate crime ambassadors, who will offer support to victims who do not want to immediately file a police report.
Hate crimes can be reported to police by dialling 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Reports can also be made online at www.report-it.org.uk.
Alternatively, crimes can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers at 0800 555111.
- Victim Support, a national charity, can be reached at 0808 1781 694.
- The Stop Hate UK hotline can be reached at 0800 138 1625.
- Transpire can be contacted at 01702 668277.
- Outhouse East can be reached by dialling 01206 871394.
- LGBT support group Galop can be contacted at 0207 704 2040.