VIOLENT homophobic crime has risen this year with hundreds of assaults reported in London alone, police forces announced yesterday.
Harassment in particular suffered a sharp rise, up from 693 last year to 747 between January and October 2014.
Campaigners believed it was “encouraging” to see more people reporting homophobic hate crimes but argued more still needs to be done.
Spokesperson for gay rights group Stonewall Richard Lane said: “We believe that more and more victims and witnesses of homophobic attacks are building up the courage to speak to others and report these instances to the police.
“Our campaigns aim to not just encourage individuals to report attacks, but also for the police to try and make people feel more at ease with approaching them.
“We know, in the past, many have been hesitant to report crimes to the police for fear of the consequences,” added Mr Lane.
The London had the highest figures in the country by a mile, with Scotland Yard reporting a total of 1,073 homophobic offences committed so far.
South Wales saw an increase of 23 per cent in reported offences between 2013 and last October.
LGBT anti-violence charity Galop’s Nick Antjoule believed recorded crimes were still far from the real number of violent attacks on gay, lesbian, bi and trans people.
“Each year the police record over 4,000 homophobic crimes, but that’s dwarfed by the 39,000 homophobic crimes that happen every year in this country according to government estimates,” said Mr Antjoule.