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Number of homophobic crimes soars in 2016

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Number of homophobic crimes soars in 2016
Photo: DPA.
10:02 CET+01:00
Nearly as many homophobic crimes were committed in the first nine months of 2016 as in all of 2015, according to a new report.

The number of homophobic crimes recorded in the first three quarters of the year increased by 15 percent, an Interior Ministry official said in a response to an inquiry by the Green party, the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported on Thursday.

Between January and September, 205 crimes with a connection to “sexual orientation” were recorded across the country. Those identifying as lesbian or gay were most often the victims of the crimes.
 
The number of suspects arrested for such crimes also increased from 86 in the first nine months of 2015 to 99 during the same time period this year.
 
SZ noted that these statistics only come from what was reported to police, and therefore there could be further crimes that went unreported, as well as crimes that are not identified by police as being homophobic.
 
In fact, there is no official category in police reports for homophobic or transphobic attacks. Instead, such crimes are classified as “politically motivated” under “hate crimes” for “sexual orientation”.
 
In the capital of Berlin, 113 homophobic crimes were committed - a striking figure given that Berlin is known for its LGBT scene.
 
“Half of homophobic and transphobic crimes happened in Berlin alone,” Green party MP Volker Beck told the SZ.
 
Beck added that he wants to help victims feel more comfortable with reporting crimes, including establishing contact points for people to report, as Berlin already has.
 

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