Transgender hate crime is on the rise, say new figures
There has been a rise in the number of hate crimes against people in Northern Ireland who have changed gender, according to new figures.
The PSNI said eight transphobic hate crimes were recorded in 2013/14, up from six in 2012/13 and three in 2011/12.
Some of the UK's biggest police forces have recorded a rise in transphobic hate crime this year, with victims subjected to assaults, verbal abuse and harassment on the street.
But there are fears the number of offences could be much higher after a leading charity warned crimes against transgender people were "massively under-reported".
Eleven forces revealed they recorded more transphobic hate crimes between January and November than in the whole of 2013, according to figures released to the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Metropolitan Police, the UK's largest force, saw offences against transgender people soar by 44% in 2014 with 95 crimes recorded, up from 66 last year and 59 in 2012. They included 53 harassment offences this year, 17 common assaults, seven grievous bodily harm (GBH) offences and seven assaults with injury. Rape, robbery, criminal damage and burglary were also recorded by the force.
Serge Nicholson, from the charity Galop, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, said transphobic hate crimes recorded by police were a "tiny fraction of the true number". He said: "A third of trans people in the UK go through transphobic abuse every year."