HOMOPHOBIC and transphobic hate crimes in York almost doubled in just a year, according to a worrying new report.

Between November 2022 and October 2023, North Yorkshire Police recorded 111 such crimes in York, up from just 64 the previous year: a 73 per cent rise.

Jake Furby of the York LGBT Forum admitted he was ‘not surprised’ by the figures, given a national rise in intolerance towards trans people.

“It does seem that people feel they can target trans people,” he said.

“Quite a few of our members have been reporting that they have experienced hate crime.”

York Press: Jake Furby of York LGBT ForumJake Furby of York LGBT Forum (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Furby said for many LGBT people, York was almost becoming a no-go area at the weekend – though he admitted that was true for many other people, too.

Problems were most acute in the Micklegate and Guildhall wards – especially after people had been drinking, Mr Furby said.

He said many victims of hate crime still did not report what had happened to police – but he urged members of the LGBT community to ensure that they did so, so police knew where to target resources.

“The relationship with North Yorkshire Police has been quite good when it comes to reporting hate crime,” he said.

“People feel that they are being listened to, which is helping us to trust police a lot more.”

The hate crime figures are included in the latest York Human Rights City Indicator report, published annually by the York Human Rights City Network, which The Press reported on yesterday.

The report measures progress in York against a raft of human rights ‘indicators’, including equality, health and social care, standard of living, education and housing.

On hate crime, the report cites police figures which show that overall, reported hate crime in York rose by six per cent between 2021/22 and and 2022/23 - up from 354 reported incidents to 374 reported incidents.

This was at least down on the 401 hate crimes recorded in 2020/21.

But the report noted that the number of hate crimes in the city remained 'worryingly high'.

York Press: Hate crime in York remains 'worryingly high', says a human rights report - and much of it is related to the city's night-time economyHate crime in York remains 'worryingly high', says a human rights report - and much of it is related to the city's night-time economy (Image: Police)

"A substantial number of such crimes are race-related and connect to the night-time economy," the report says.

"They involve the abuse of staff in bars and nightclubs, sometimes by visitors from outside of the city."

But it is the 73 per cent rise in hate crimes categorised as homophobic or transphobic that is perhaps most concerning.

The report says that the York Hate Crime Partnership, one of the bodies tasked with tackling hate crime, has been holding discussions with transgender peer support group Generate about how the city's transgender community can be better supported.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said  anyone who suffered from hate crime in any form should report it.

The spokesperson said: “Hate crime can take many forms, and it can happen anywhere: at home, work, on public transport, when out socially and online. 

“Hate crime causes huge distress and lasting harm. Targeting someone simply because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender is a crime which has an impact on individuals, their families and whole communities.

“Hate is not something that you have to live with. It’s crucial to tell the police, and we will always take reports extremely seriously.

“There are also a wide range of charities and organisations that can assist you. The most important thing is to get in touch and get help. 

“We all need to work together to put an end to it for good. Please report it so we can make it stop.”

How to report hate crime 

  • make a report via the North Yorkshire Police website
  • call 101, select option 4, and speak to the Force Control Room
  • if you feel threatened and are in immediate danger, always dial 999