A ‘hard-core minority’ of young people are committing LGBT+ hate crimes, says human rights campaigner

A ‘hard-core minority’ of young people are committing LGBT+ hate crimes, says human rights campaigner

Friday, December 21, 2018

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said that there remains a "hard-core minority" of young people who commit hate crimes against LGBT+ people. 

According to data analysed by the BBC, 20-29 year-olds are the age group most likely to report being victims of homophobic or transgender hate crime.

However, the data from 38 police forces shows that people in their 20s are accused of homophobic hate crimes more often than any other age group

Mr Tatchell told talkRADIO’s Jamie East: “The general presumption is that young people are becoming more understanding and accepting of sexual minorities including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

“I think that is broadly true and I think there has been a sea change among most young people in Britain today where sexuality is not really an issue.

“But, there clear is a hard-core minority who very significantly do harbour prejudice and do engage in hate crimes varying from insults and teasing, to outright harassment, physical violence and assaults.That is pretty worrying.”

The data suggests that over 2,500 homophobic hate crimes were committed by young people aged between 20-29, between 2014 and 2017. 


'Immaturity and prejudice' 

Mr Tatchell described the reason these young people committed hate crimes as a "combination of immaturity and prejudice". 

“It is a combination of immaturity and prejudice. Undoubtedly we have secured massive changes in public opinion over the last two decades. That is fantastic," he said. 

“But, there does seem to be a hard-core who either by deliberate intent, or by careless thoughtlessness, think that it is okay to threaten a hate crime because of people’s sexuality.

“It is just not acceptable and it is a wake-up call. It shows that we really do need to make sure that we educate young people in our schools about LGBT issues to help undermine prejudice.”