Offence of hate crime – sexual orientation across UK

Offence of hate crime – sexual orientation across UK

When was protection from sexual orientation hate crime introduced?

Protection from hate crime for LGBT+ people has followed protections on other grounds. LGBT+ people experience high levels of hate crime. It has taken years and much campaigning for the law to do something about this.

Protection for LGBT+ people has not happened all at the same time. It has been introduced at different times for different groups in different parts of the UK

2003 Criminal Justice Act – sexual orientation across the UK

2009 The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act

2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Act – England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force in April 2005. The Act instructed courts to recognise hostility at the time of an offence. That included hostility to someone of a particular sexual orientation or who is transgender.

Hate crimes in the UK against LGBT+ people are legislated against on the grounds of actual or percieved sexual orientation or transgender identity. When a person who has experienced a crime they believe to have happened because of hate it should be recorded as such, it is up to the investigation team to find and prove the evidence. Once provided the evidence will then be considered in a court of law and can affect the sentence.

What are hate crimes?

Hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.

There are different terms for LGBT+ hate crime. Hate crime against lgb people, or those thought to be lgb, can be known by the umbrella homophobic hate crime, or also by using the specific terms lesbophobic and /or biphobic. Hate crime towards trans people is known as transphobic hate crime.

How does hate crime affect sentencing?

Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 allowed an increase in the penalties for homophobic, lesbophobic and biphobic hate crimes. An offence can be ‘aggravated’ by having a hate element. The 2003 Act did not introduce an increase in penalties for transphobic hate crime.

What is the National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership?

The National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership brings together LGBT organisations from across England, Wales and Scotland. The project is run by the LGBT partnership on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The partnership is committed to informing LGBT+ people that the hate crime law is there to protect them. The members work with the police and government. This is to make sure they support people in the best way possible if they report an incident

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