The number of homophobic incidents recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland has jumped by 12% in the last year, according to figures released in August.
Catríona Ruane MLA, of Sinn Féin, raised the issue of homophobic crime at the latest meeting of the Policing Board.
Speaking to the Newry Times, the South Down MLA said that she
was dismayed to hear that there has been a 12% rise in the number of incidents reported to the PSNI.
I am however pleased that there has also been a similar rise in the outcome rate in the cases of homophobic crime.
The Sinn Féin MLA asked people to report any such incidents to the PSNI and expressed the view that there should be no tolerance of homophobic or other hate crimes in society in the North.
The PSNI defines a homophobic incident as
any incident which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person. Homophobia can be defined as a fear or dislike directed towards lesbian, gay or bisexual people, or a fear or dislike directed towards their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics. Sexual orientation can be defined as an individual’s preference for a particular sex (be it the opposite or the same), or an individual’s view of their own sexuality.