Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Borough Liaison and FAQs

LGBT Hate Crime poster

Abuse because of someone's sexual orientation or gender identity is hate crime. If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked in any way by someone because they think you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) please help yourself and the community by reporting these crimes.

Remember in an emergency always dial 999, for non - emergency, ring 101 and request to speak to the Borough Community Safety Unit covering where you live or where the incident occurred. You can also report non-urgent crimes via the Met's online crime reporting facility.

The Metropolitan Police Service continues to have an LGBT liaison officer on every borough to assist LGBT people living, working or visiting London. To speak to your local LGBT liaison officer please contact your borough community Safety unit. There are more than 500 specialist hate crime investigators working in our 32 dedicated hate crime Community Safety Units (CSUs); who work with the partners to support victims in all aspects of hate crime.

Homophobic & Transphobic abuse is a crime. Report it. Stop it. Don't tolerate it.

LGBT Hate Crime FAQs

What is the difference between a Hate crime and a Hate incident?

HATE CRIME - Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

HATE INCIDENT - Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

What is a homophobic crime or incident?

Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person.
Homophobia is the irrational hatred, intolerance, and fear of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
These negative feelings fuel the myths, stereotypes, and discrimination that can lead to violence, abuse and harassment against LGB people.

What is a Transphobic crime or incident?

Any incident which is perceived to be Transphobic by the victim or any other person.Transphobia is intolerance of gender diversity. It is based around the idea that there are only two sexes – male or female, which you stay in from birth. Furthermore, that people who fit gender stereotypes (by sounding, looking or behaving like men and women are ‘supposed to’) are somehow better than those who don’t.

Trans people can also experience homophobia, because the abuser often neither knows nor cares how a person identifies.

How will I know if I am a victim of homophobic and transphobic crime?

There are times when it’s very clear someone has been homophobic or transphobic towards you, for instance if there’s physical violence or verbal abuse directed at you. But sometimes it’s less clear. For example, it could be homophobic or transphobic if you’re being harassed by a neighbour or someone uses “humour” based on gender or sexuality as a put-down.

If you think that someone has done or said something that’s motivated or aggravated by prejudice or hate because of your sexual orientation or because you’re transgender and you’re not sure what to do then you can always speak to the police or contact a wide variety of support groups available online.

  • Physical assault

If you are a victim of a physical assault then an offence has been committed. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with Common Assault, Actual Bodily Harm or Grievous Bodily Harm. If you think that the offence is wholly or partly motivated because of your sexuality or gender identity then you should make sure that the police (or other people you’ve told) are aware of this, as the incident should be investigated as a hate crime.

  • Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse, threats or name calling can be a common experience for LGBT people. Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether or not an offence has been committed or think that there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse and you should contact the police or an LGBT organisation to discuss what has happened. Even if you don’t know who verbally abused you the information could still help the police to build up a problem profile where the abuse took place. All intelligence is useful!

  • Incitement to Hatred

The offence of Incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.

Examples of what hate content may include:

  • Messages calling for violence against people due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against LGBT people.

Why should I report homophobic hate crime?

By reporting it, you may be able to prevent these crimes from happening again to you or someone else. You have the right to live your life free from abuse and violence, whoever you are. You do not have to live with hate crime, and if you are the victim of what you think is a hate crime, remember it is not your fault.
Police are trained to deal with hate crime sensitively and professionally

Reporting directly to the police

The police will:

  • Make a record of the incident.
  • Record your witness statement.
  • Investigate to see if there is sufficient evidence to arrest/charge anyone.
  • Interview any suspects.
  • Inform you of decisions by police and by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge a person or not.
  • Keep you updated on how the case is progressing
  • Direct you to support agencies should you wish

Can I speak to an officer who is LGBT themselves?

The MPS has an LGBT liaison officer on every borough and you can contact them via your borough community safety unit (CSU). Many of these officers do this role in addition to their day jobs so will not be available 24/7, but will contact you back when they are next on duty. The liaison officers are a mixture of both police officer and police staff of all ranks. Not every LGBT liaison officer is LGBT themselves. If you wish to speak to an officer who is LGBT please request this.

I am suffering LGBT domestic abuse, is there help I can get without speaking to police?

Yes. Surveys show that one in four LGBT people experience domestic abuse. It is real and exists. Organisations like Broken Rainbow (www.brokenrainbow.org.uk) or Galop (www.galop.org.uk)offer great one stop shop websites to visit for help and advice if you do not wish to contact police.

I am a young LGBT person and I’m suffering verbal and physical abuse. Is there any help for me?

Yes, there are LGBT youth organisations that can help young people in crisis, including problems at home with parents, school or being in a hostile or violent environment.

In an emergency always dial 999 but if you just want someone to speak to and are aged between 16-25yrs old, the Albert Kennedy Trust (www.akt.org.uk) can provide fantastic support for you.

You can speak to police by dialing the non-emergency number 101. Always dial 999 if it is an emergency and you think you are in immediate danger.