Recorded LGBTQ+ hate crimes in Oxford increased in the last year, data from Thames Valley Police shows.

Rolling 12-month data from the force, recorded between August 2020 and July 2021 shows that both homophobic and transphobic hates crimes increased compared with the same period in the previous 12 months.

The figures come as two men from Bicester suffered a violent homophobic attack in Birmingham’s Gay Village in August. 

A spokesperson from TransOxford said that to tackle hate crime ‘we need to start educating’ and ‘promoting and building understanding and inclusivity’.

They said: “Being trans and being LGB is not a choice.

“There has been a sustained campaign in recent years by groups with extreme ideologies to spread lies about and to demonize trans people to promote ant-trans sentiment and activity. This has been supported by the media that has created a culture war that has made hate crime seem right to some people.

“We are not a threat to society but it is society that is a threat to us and it is time this changed.”

How have hate crime figures changed?

The data revealed homophobic hate crimes increased from 42 recorded crimes in 2019/20 to 63 in 2020/21.

Recorded transphobic hate crimes doubled from 7 to 14 in the time period, a 100 per cent increase.

However, incidents recorded as homophobic and transphobic ‘non crime occurrence’ had mixed figures.

Homophobic non-crime incidents increased by 200 per cent from 5 in 2019/20 to 15 in 2020/21.

On the other hand, transphobic non-crime incidents were down and decreased by 57.1 per cent. 7 transphobic incidents were reported in 2019/20 compared with just 3 in 2020/21.

These figures follow very similar trends for Thames Valley as a whole.

Across Thames Valley recorded homophobic hate crimes were up by 16 per cent on the previous 12-months, increasing from 451 to 523.

Transphobic hate crimes rose from 92 in 2019/20 to 112 in 2020/21, an increase of 21.7 per cent.

Again, incidents labelled as ‘non crime occurrence’ had mixed figures for instances labelled as homophobic and transphobic.

Homophobic non-crime incidents were up by 11.2 per cent, from 125 to 139.

While transphobic non-crime incidents were also down on the previous 12-month period, dropping from 65 to 41.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: “Thames Valley Police has seen an increase in reports of hate crimes and incidents. We believe that this shows a growing confidence in Thames Valley Police to listen, investigate and respond to reports, and also shows an increasing recognition from the public that these offences are not acceptable, and that they should be reported.

“Oxford is a very diverse place which is home to people from a variety of different backgrounds. Tackling hate crime is a local priority for officers in Oxford, and we actively work and engage with all our communities across the city to ensure their safety.

“Hate crimes and incidents are never acceptable; they have serious impacts on individuals, families and communities.

“Thames Valley Police encourages anyone who experiences hate incidents to report them so we can investigate and bring offenders to justice.”

In recent days, the global network of pride organisers, InterPride, condemned ‘the ongoing recent surge of incidents of violence, discrimination, and marginalization targeting LGBTQIA+ individuals in Europe’.

They said: “The United Kingdom is experiencing a wave of transphobic and homophobic abuse. Young LGBTQIA+ students are being followed, stalked, and beaten nearly to death, causing a lifetime of trauma and unfathomable pain, the full results of which will not be realized for years, maybe decades, to come.”