The Government take all forms of hate crime seriously. We expect the police to fully investigate all those sorts of hateful attacks to make sure that the cowards who commit them feel the full force of the law. We are committed to reducing all crime, including hate crime, which is why we are recruiting 20,000 additional police officers.
The Minister will know that trans people are already the group most likely to be the victims of violent crime, and there was a massive 56% increase in hate crime against trans people last year. That is against what I conceive to be a background of semi-official transphobia in England, which is similar to the moral panic that led to section 28 in the 1980s. What is her view of the comments of her party’s deputy chairman, Lee Anderson, who called on the Conservative party to campaign on
“a mix of culture wars and trans debate”?
With the greatest respect, I do not accept the way that the narrative has been framed about the deputy chairman of the Conservative party. We have to look at all those issues, but I welcome the increase in the reporting of the sort of offences that the right hon. Member mentions, because it is only when people come forward that we can do something about it. The increase to 56% from 43% is a good thing, because it means that people have more confidence in the police. There is more to do, but I certainly do not accept that the Government are against assisting in that area, as has been said. We are putting huge amounts of effort and education into it, from which we will reap the benefits in years to come.