Police in Cumbria work hard to tackle hate crime and ensure members of the gay community have the confidence to report incidents to officers.
From April 2010 to March 2011, Cumbria Constabulary recorded 42 reports of homophobic hate crime – a 10.5 percent increase on the previous year when 38 crimes were recorded.
Officers believe the increase is down to the introduction of third-party reporting, which enables victims to report incidents online or via a third party. This means that victims don’t have to attend a police station, which can be off-putting if someone is not comfortable discussing their sexuality with someone they don’t know.
Detective Superintendent Paul Smith, who leads the Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Homophobia is unacceptable, so we are doing all we can to tackle the issue in Cumbria. Every incident reported to us is investigated thoroughly and we have measures in place to ensure victims receive the support they need.
“We don’t want victims to suffer in silence and have opened a series of Third Party Reporting Centres across the county in to encourage victims who don’t want to speak directly to police officers to come forward and report crimes. Trained staff in these centres can help victims to record crimes correctly, which then get sent to us to investigate.
“Third Party Reporting centres are helping us gain a clearer picture of the true nature of hate crime in Cumbria and we need victims to continue reporting crimes to us so that we can catch offenders and ensure people don’t become repeat victims.”
Victims of transphobic hate crime can also report incidents online at: http://www.tcrime.net
Further info about IDAHO can be found on the following website: http://www.dayagainsthomophobia.org/-IDAHO-english,41-
To contact police by phone call 0845 33 00 247. In an emergency call 999.