Homophobia was behind one in five hate crimes recorded in Cumbria last year, figures reveal.
Home Office data shows Cumbria Constabulary recorded 124 homophobic and biphobic hate crimes in the year to March – 25 fewer than the year before.
It means someone’s sexual orientation was a motivating factor in 18 per cent of the 681 hate crimes recorded in Cumbria last year.
The figures show transphobia was a factor in 27 hate crimes recorded by Cumbria Constabulary last year.
Police can record more than one motivating factor behind an offence.
In England and Wales, transphobic hate crimes more than doubled in the last five years, from 1,195 in 2016-17 to 2,630 last year, while sexual orientation crimes increased from 8,569 to 17,135.
The Home Office said that while the biggest drivers behind the rises were improvements in police recording and increased willingness from victims to come forward, the Government “could not be complacent”, and a new hate crime strategy will be published this year.
Charity Stonewall says the true scale of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ victims may be much higher, due to many incidents going unreported.
Around three-quarters of hate crimes recorded last year were racially motivated.
In Cumbria there were 399 racially motivated incidents, 123 disability-related hate crimes and 49 offences linked to religion.
The Government said it is committed to tackling hate crime and recent efforts include working to improve recording of crime, funding for anti-bullying interventions in schools and producing resources to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ abuse.
A Home Office spokesman said: “All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable.
“The cowards who commit them should feel the full force of the law.”