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Matter for Discussion: LGBTQ+ and Hate Crime

Submitted by the RCN Public Health Forum

14 May 2023, 09:00 - 18 May, 17:00

  • The Brighton Centre, King's Road, Brighton, BN1 2GR
That this meeting of RCN Congress discusses the role of nursing in supporting members of the LGBTQ+ communities who are victims of hate crime.

CHANGED to Resolution: That this meeting of RCN Congresses demands Council to support the role of nursing in supporting members of the LGBTQ+ communities who are victims of hate crime.

This resolution passed.

The Metropolitan Police defines hate crime as “any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender” (Metropolitan Police, no date). 

According to the police, reports of sexual orientation hate crime in England and Wales has risen by 41% from 4,345 in 2011 to 26,153  in the year ending March 2022, with a 26% rise in hate crime overall from the previous year (Home Office, 2022a and 2022b ). 

In Northern Ireland, reported homophobic incidents  between April 2021 and March 2022 increased by 34% to 462 compared to the previous twelve months, the largest annual increase, and the highest annual total on record. During the same period, incidences of homophobic crimes increased from 246 to 336, while transphobic hate crimes increased from 34 to 42 (Police Service of Northern Ireland Statistics Branch, 2022).  

Although some of this may be due to improved reporting, this does underline lived reality for people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community.  

The Welsh government has recently published an LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales that sets out a clear vision for making Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. RCN Wales was consulted during the drafting of this plan and provided comments. 

The plan sets out a series of actions and places nursing firmly at the heart of supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community who are victims of hate crimes in Wales.
In 2020, transphobic recorded incidents hit a three-year high, alongside recorded homophobic hate crimes during the pandemic.

The Hate crime report 2021 from Galop (Hubbard, 2021) shows that three in five LGBTQ+ people who experience hate crime want and need help, but only one in five access support, leaving an overwhelming nine in 10 respondents negatively impacted by their experiences. 

Research by the Rainbow Project in Northern Ireland suggests that some members of the LGBTQ+ community are reluctant to report crimes because of fear of experiencing further harassment or abuse. Over 51% of hate crimes and 68% of domestic abuse incidents were not reported to the police or any support services, with over 43% of respondents stating that they were fearful of becoming a victim (Leebody, 2022).

The victims of homophobic or transphobic hate crimes are loved ones, colleagues, families, friends, and neighbours who may disclose their lived experiences to members of the nursing team when they are seeking care and treatment. 

Members of the nursing team should have the skills and knowledge to provide care and support to people who are victims of LGBTQ+ hate crimes, recognise the specialist support and services they require, and encourage people to report the crime to the police.  

Reading list for this debate available at


Home Office (2022a) Hate crime, England and Wales, 2021/22: bulletin tables. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Home Office (2022b) Official statistics: hate crime, England and Wales, 2021 to 2022, Home Office. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Hubbard L (2021) Hate crime report 2021: supporting LGBT+ victims of hate crime. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Leebody C (2022) Record number of LGBTQ hate crime incidents reported in Northern Ireland branded ‘shocking’ by local charity, Belfast Telegraph19 May. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Metropolitan Police (no date) What is hate crime? Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Police Service of Northern Ireland Statistics Branch (2022) Incidents and crimes with a hate motivation recorded by the police in Northern Ireland: update to 31st March 2022. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

Welsh Government (2023) LGBTQ+ action plan for Wales. Available at: (Accessed 16 March 2023).

The Brighton Centre
King's Road

Page last updated - 16/10/2023