Britain has been at the top of ILGA-Europe’s LGBT rightsin Europe rankings for the past four years but this year, in 2017, has slippeddown to second place behind Malta (Rainbow Europe, 2017) which proves thatthere is more we can do to tackle hate crimes and discrimination and gain moreacceptance for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. Statutory organisationsteaming up with LGBT charities seems like a good idea for the future of tryingto prevent LGB hate crimes as the charities will be able to provide them withinsight and knowledge about the hate crimes and about LGB people in general.For example, the Crown Prosecution Service’s anti-hate crime campaign inschools is a good idea for the future of tackling homophobic hate crimes as, byeducating young people on the matter, you are changing their views and how theymay behave in the future and this was produced by teaming up with an LGBTcharity. The policies and support that are currently in place are clearly doingwell at helping more people come forward about the crimes and also in providingtougher sentences by taking into account the homophobic elements of people whohave committed such crimes, which previously wouldn’t have been considered.
Thegovernment also cleared the criminal records of many people who in the past hadcriminal convictions for their sexuality. However, due to the history ofnegative connotations against homosexuality there needs to be more positivepublic education on the matter as, for some people, there may be a stigmaattached that could easily be changed if adults as well as young people weretaught that LGB people are normal human beings the same as anyone else. Thepercentage of people who think that same-sex relationships “are not wrong atall” has almost doubled from 39% in 2010 to 64% in 2016 (NatCen, 2017) whichmeans that people are becoming more accepting of the LGB community, which is apositive direction to be moving in.While we have come so far inthe past 25 years, it is clear that much is still to be done before all LGBTpeople can feel safe, included and free to be themselves in Britain today. Thescale and scope of LGB hate crimes has risen, which suggests that – althoughprogression is being made in giving lesbian, gay and bisexual people equalrights – it is people’s attitudes towards this community that needs to changein order to prevent future LGB hate crimes. A way of doing this would be tolook at the theories that help us understand this prejudice and work out ifthere are any ways we could use them to make a change – for example, childrengrowing up in homophobic households could learn in school that this behaviourisn’t acceptable and therefore will not be accepting of their parentsbehaviours. There is a lot of work being put in by both statutory organisationsand voluntary charities, with clear aims for the future.
So hopefully asacceptance continues to rise, the amount of hate crimes committed will decline.