Following a spate of homophobic hate crimes across the nation Stephen Morgan MP called on the Home Secretary to do more to safeguard our LGBT+ community.
The Portsmouth MP raised this matter directly with Home Office Ministers in Parliament, shared concerns with the police and crime commissioner and received the support of hundreds of local people at Portsmouth Pride in June in calling for greater action by the Home Secretary.
After weeks of action, the city MP has finally received a response from the out-going Home Office boss.
Mr Morgan has now received a reply from the former Home Secretary, acknowledging the drastic rise in offences but offering little of substance when it comes to tackling the issue and arriving too late in the game to make a real difference.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“It’s such a pity we have finally had a reply to our concerns in Portsmouth from the Home Office, in what must have been a penned response in haste.
The fact the former Home Secretary has waited until now to respond to my urgent inquiries is a case of too little, too late.
With a matter of this severity, we need to see action not rehashed action plans that failed to work the first time around. Hate crime against the LGBT+ community is rising.
When hate crime shows an increase of 27%, we saw a hideous violent incident in our city on Pride night and cases continue to plague our newspapers, is this a legacy that the Home Secretary can be proud of? I think not.
Acknowledging that there is a problem is one thing, but I fear that when our Police forces have been slashed by 20,000 since 2010, they are not able to deliver on their proposals.
The new team in charge at the Home Office must do better but I don’t have much hope”.
There has been much widespread criticism of the way in which hate crime cases are dealt with under the current Government. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found inadequate responses in 89 of 180 cases it reviewed.
The watchdog said it took an average of five days for police to visit 73 victims, while 65 were not seen at all.
Mr Morgan added:
“If we are to stand up to hate and bigotry, we must be able to do so with faith in our justice system. We must stamp out this stain on our society and demonstrate that we are a nation of hope, compassion and diversity not hatred and ignorance.
We find ourselves at a time when Tory peers have openly said that the new Prime Minister is likely to make ‘hate crime more likely’.
Now more than ever we must see comprehensive plans to tackle it and leadership from those in new positions of power”.
The Portsmouth South MP has vowed to keep raising this matter in Parliament.