Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes at all-time high in Northern Ireland

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are at an all-time high in Northern Ireland according to the latest PSNI statistics.

Incidents and crimes are at the highest since records began in 2004.

Homophobic incidents increased from 366 in April 2020- March 2021, to 462 in April 2021-March 2022.

Crimes jumped from 246 to 336 in the same timeframe.

Jennifer a Transgender woman, who spoke to UTV on the condition of anonymity, says she has been terrorised for six years and is currently looking to leave her home.

"They shout at me in the street. They've broken windows" Jennifer said, adding that, "they've tried picking locks on the front door.

"It's just so soul-destroying. I don't know when I'm out, when I get back home if my house is going to be okay.

"To the people who haven't experienced this, I would say, try and think of your worst nightmare and multiply it by five."

The PSNI say the rise in crime and incidents also means more victims are coming forward but there are still those too frightened to call the police.

Cohen Taylor came out when he was young, but he is concerned about the safety of LGBTQ+ people in Northern Ireland.

"It's the most dangerous time to be an LGBTQ+ person in Northern Ireland, and that's scary" Cohen told UTV.

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