Around 35,000 cases of hate crime committed in the UK against people because of their sexual orientation go unreported every year.
Hounslow Council is taking a stance and trying and stem that statistic by asking residents to help promote tolerance and raise awareness of the prejudices faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people.
A survey has been created by the council’s Community Safety Team, Hounslow Police and OutWest, a leading LGBT charity to find out more about attitudes around LGBT hate crime, and to encourage victims to report the crimes against them and make people aware how they can do this.
The survey also asks what the LGBT community think would help increase the number of people coming forward to report hate crime and highlights the unprejudiced support victims can get.
Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The number of hate crime cases that go unnoticed and unreported is just simply too high. We must try to do something about this issue.
“We don’t want anyone suffering from any kind of abuse and we want people to feel safe and comfortable about speaking out. By getting views from the LGBT community, we can get an idea of what may trigger this abuse and how we can go about removing it out from our community.
“I strongly urge as many as possible to take part in the survey and give us your views so we can look to make a difference to the lives of many people.”
To take part in the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HounslowLGBTHatecrime
Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, Borough Commander for Hounslow Police, said:
“This survey is a very important piece of work that has the full support of Hounslow Police and myself.
“LGBT hate crime issues are under-reported and we would like to know what the experiences of LGBT communities are, so we can work together and address these issues and continue to make sure Hounslow is a great place to live, work and socialise.”
Ola Satchell, Project Development Worker for OutWest, said: “As an LGBT organisation, we have seen the effect that hate crime has on the community, on almost a daily basis.
“We understand how it affects people’s lives. We urge everyone in Hounslow to take a few minutes to respond to the survey. It will really help us work with the council and the police to ensure unreported LGBT hate crime is a thing of the past.”