The number of recorded hate crimes against LGBT people has more than doubled in the past five years, new data from across the West of England shows.
The figures are uncovered in a BBC Inside Out West documentary airing this evening, Monday 9th September, which also speaks to the mother of a gay man who has been sent death threats.
Madeleine also said her husband was left “covered in glass” when a brick was thrown through their window. Her son was too shaken by the ordeal to speak on camera.
“We had a letter a couple of days later saying whoever it is going to kill all of us and the dogs,” she told the BBC.
“Then we had the most recent letter which was a homophobic death threat.
“It was horrible. Really. really horrible”.
The BBC got the figures from the West of England’s three police forces using Freedom of Information requests.
They found that between 2013/14 and 2017/18 recorded hate crimes against LGBT people rocketed from 19 to 55 in Wiltshire, 28 to 76 in Gloucestershire and 151 to 375 in the Avon and Somerset Police area, which includes Bristol and Bath.
Johanna Jenkins, a support worker at LGBT Bristol, told the BBC: “These days I have a lot more referrals. Now whether this is because people are reporting more or if there’s more I really don’t know.
“All I do know is that the cases that I’m working on at the moment are far more aggressive than the ones that I had two years ago which is very sad.
“And the range of people that are being affected by the hate crime are from an 18 year-old lad to a 60-year-old man and everything in between.”
The documentary also speaks to people at Bristol Pride – one of the biggest pride festivals in the UK – and a gay football team about the shocking abuse they have received, including being called a “child of the devil”, “faggot” and “paedophile”.
Another was told to “burn in hell”.
BBC Inside Out West will air on BBC One West on Monday 9th September at 7.30pm. It will be available to the iPlayer afterwards.