Rainbow Laces: The importance of LGBT+ Hate Crime Awareness

Written by Beth Warriner, ED&I and Cohesion Lead at Bolton Wanderers in the Community.

A Hate Crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, alternative sub-culture (the way they dress or their lifestyle) or because they are transgender.

We know from Stonewall’s 2017 ‘LGBT in Britain’ report that:
• One in five LGBT+ people (21%) have experienced a Hate Crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.
• Three in ten LGBT+ people (29%) avoid certain streets because they do not feel safe there as an LGBT+ person.
• Four in five LGBT+ people (81%) who experienced a Hate Crime or incident didn’t report it to the police.

Figures like these highlight how important LGBT+ inclusion is, and how campaigns like Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces are vital to working towards equality. To date, more than a million people have laced up, and two thirds of sport fans who’ve seen the campaign believe they have a responsibility to stand in solidarity for LGBTQ+ fans of the teams and sports they follow. However, the figures show there is still much to do.
For more information, or to buy Rainbow Laces, visit www.stonewall.org.uk.

Last year, participants of BWitC’s LGBT+ Youth Club created and produced an LGBT-focussed Hate Crime Awareness package, including a training booklet and slideshow. The training was created by young people, for young people, and has been delivered to a number of community groups and schools across the borough.

Hate Crimes and Incidents can be reported online anonymously, by both victims and witnesses. It is vital that all perceived Hate Crimes and Incidents are reported, in order to help fight discrimination and work towards a world where people can feel safe; nobody should be at an increased risk of harm just for being themselves.

Report online: www.report-it.org.uk
Report on the phone: Call 101
Report in-person: At your nearest Police Station

If you would like more information, please contact Beth Warriner – bwarriner@bwitc.org.uk.