Sharp rise in reports of homophobic hate crime, on London's streets and online

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When you walk around London are you subjected to physical or verbal abuse? Have you had a glass smashed in your face or been spat at for simply holding hands with your partner?

The chances are probably not. But for thousands of people from the LGBT community it’s something they have to experience while going about their day to day lives.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the number of homophobic hate crimes being committed in London has doubled over the last five years - rising from 1156 to 2079 in the 12 months to February this year.

Chris Withers was subjected to several homophobic attacks Credit: ITV News

For those victims, it’s not only unpleasant but also impacts on the way they act around the capital.

Chris Withers is a theatre technician, who has been subjected to a number of attacks - from having chips thrown at him near Waterloo to even being followed after leaving a club with his partner in Soho.

It’s not just attacks on the street, hate crime is also happening online. Lukasz Konieczka runs a charity for young LGBT people and says social media is becoming a hotbed for hatred and abuse.

Detectives at Scotland Yard say the rise in hate crime is down to people feeling more confident in reporting attacks, and always encourage victims to come forward.

Head of the parade at Pride in London 2017 Credit: PA

While events like London Pride show the capital as a welcoming, tolerant and diverse place, it’s clear that some people still aren’t getting the message.