A police force has been challenged over its “gross inflation” of transgender hate crime statistics, with figures posted on its social media account labelled “a falsehood”.
Last month West Midlands Police’s LGBT+ Network claimed on Twitter that “2 in 5 trans people” had experienced a hate crime in the previous twelve months, citing Stonewall as their source.
However, official Government estimates suggest instances of hate crimes occurring against transgender people are closer to one in 80 or even one in 200.
Harry Miller of Fair Cop, an organisation which opposes hate crime legislation, has written to the force asking it to explain the “exaggerated” figure.
Miller, a former police officer, said: “The government estimates that there are between 200,000 and 500,000 trans people in the UK, meaning that, according to your estimations, between 80,000 and 200,000 incidents of hate crime against trans people in the past 12 months.
“Such a figure would be deeply shocking if it were true.”
He cited the official Government figures which state only 2,540 hate crimes took place over the same period and queried how the force came to publish a figure “which has been exaggerated by between three and five thousand per cent?”
Miller continued: “This criminally negligent statistic presents the trans community as being at unique risk of violence”.
He also mentioned another social media post by the force featuring a trans police officer with a taser, which he said “might reasonably be said to be countering an entirely fictitious narrative of violence with a very real and present threat of violence”.
He added: “This is cynical, sinister, dangerous and can do nothing but undermine public confidence” in West Midlands Police.
The group’s figures were taken from a 2017 YouGov survey commissioned by Stonewall on hate crime and discrimination as experienced by LGBT people.
There were fewer than 6000 respondents, of which only 14 per cent identified as transgender.
According to the report the figure actually relates to “a hate crime or incident”, which include false accusations of hate crimes, even where no crime has actually occurred.