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Transgender hate crime rising in Sheffield, figures show

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South Yorkshire Police are dealing with more incidents of hate crime against transgender people, with a charity warning this is "just the tip of the iceberg".

The latest Home Office figures show 26 incidents were recorded by the police during the 2016-17 financial year, up from 14 in 2015-16.

Five years earlier, when this data was first published, three incidents were reported.

Over the same period 168 people reported homophobic hate crime to South Yorkshire Police, an increase of 49% on the year previously.

However the charity Stonewall, which campaigns on LGBT+ issues, believes this is just a fraction of the true number of trans people who have experienced hate crime.

A Stonewall spokeswoman said: “These worrying statistics are a wake-up call.

“It’s 2018 – lesbian, gay, bi and trans people should feel safe and no one should face hatred simply because of who they are.

“Sadly, the reality is very different. And while some people may suggest this spike is due to increased confidence in reporting, we fear these figures represent just the tip of the iceberg of a rise in hate crimes against LGBT people.”

The Home Office said in its report that it believes these rises are due to improved reporting, and do not necessarily genuine increases in hate crime.

Stonewall's spokeswoman commented that according to its research “four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes go unreported, with younger people particularly reluctant to go to the police”.

The research, by YouGov, also shows that trans people are more than twice as likely as to experience hate crime than other members of the LGBT+ community, meaning these figures could be vastly under representative.

The spokeswoman added: “These statistics are the real life consequence of a society where transphobia is everywhere – from the front pages of newspapers, to the gates of the school yard.

“Stonewall works with police services across Britain to ensure all LGBT people feel more confident and comfortable reporting abuse.

“It’s vital we improve confidence in the way the criminal justice system deals with LGBT hate crime.”

Overall police recorded hate crime increased by 63% in 2016-17, which the vast majority of the incidents classified as due to race.