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> Friday, June 1st, 2012 > News > London police showing their colours by supporting the LGBT2Q community
London police showing their colours by supporting the LGBT2Q community
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Brooke Foster
Published: Friday, June 1st, 2012
Local police are crediting a decrease in homophobic hate crimes to better education and prevention plans. London police have been working with the Homophobia-Biphobia-Transphobia Working Group (HBT) to create an anti-homophobia campaign as well as an updated version of the old HBT website (hbtlondon.ca). The project received a $47,000 grant from the federal government.
The website, aimed at 14 to 25 year olds, will be used to help inform people about the nature of homophobic hate crimes. It will also serve as an online tool for people to report hate crimes and discrimination against the LGBT2Q community.
Daniel Pugh, co-chair of the HBT group, said, “There is still a lot of fear, shame and stigma that makes it difficult for victims to come forward, and many remain silent.” For those who fear further harassment or embarrassment, the website will allow its users to report in an anonymous manner.
Despite allowing users to remain anonymous, the website will still serve as a great tool to lower the number of hate crimes. The reporting tool will help police know how many hate crimes are being committed and who they are being directed towards. “Hate crimes are difficult for police to stop if they’re not reported,” said diversity officer Sgt. Marcel Marcellin.
From 2008 to 2011 the overall occurrence of hate crimes in London declined from 44 to 25. The number of hate crimes against the LGBT2Q community declined from 13 to four.
Despite positive statistics, Pugh said ge still believes that the lack of reporting of hate crimes remains a problem. “Hate crimes continue to exist and happen in all shapes and forms, from the more subtle comments to actual physical violence.”
Pugh said he hopes the website’s reporting tool and the anti-homophobia curriculum will have a positive effect not only on the LGBT2Q community but on the London community as a whole.