Belfast Telegraph

Hate crime against gay people is on the rise in Northern Ireland

By David Mercer

Homophobic hate crime has been on the rise in Northern Ireland for the last eight years with incidents now being reported nearly every day, according to new figures.

The PSNI revealed the number of hate crimes and incidents against gay people had "generally increased year on year since 2006/07".

In 2013/14, 280 incidents were recorded by the force - up from 245 in 2012/13 and 200 in 2011/12.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed UK 19 police forces recorded more violence against the person offences which were classed as homophobic or motivated by a person's sexuality between January and October than the whole of last year.

Richard Lane of gay rights charity Stonewall said: "We believe that more and more victims and witnesses of homophobic attacks are building up the courage to speak to others and report these instances to the police."

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