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'Increased polarization in society': Berlin sees rise in homophobic incidents

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'Increased polarization in society': Berlin sees rise in homophobic incidents
File photo shows two men holding hands. Photo: DPA

Police in Berlin say there’s been a significant rise in the number of attacks against gay men, lesbians and transgender people in the city.

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In the first nine months of the year up until the end of September, a total of 261 insults, threats and attacks were recorded by police, reported the Berliner Morgenpost on Monday.

In the same period last year there were 184 incidents, according to Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik.

The crimes took place predominantly in the districts of Mitte, Schöneberg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln. 

Slowik said there had been an "increasing polarization in society" and an "increase in hate crime" in many areas. At the same time, more victims are coming forward to report on homophobic incidents.

These factors have led to the significant increase, Slowick said after she presented the figures at an awards event organized by the Alliance against Homophobia.

However, the number could be the tip of the iceberg as many crimes go unreported.

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