Most of the attacks are happening places where homosexuality is “highly visible.”
New figures show that Berlin is experiencing a rise in anti-LGBTQ hates crimes. The figure was presented by the city’s police chief, Barbara Slowik, at an event held by the Alliance Against Homophobia.
Slowik revealed that in the first nine months of 2019 there had been 261 attacks on LGBTQ people, compared to 184 for the same time period in 2018. Attacks included both physical ones as well as insults and threats.
She warned of an “increasing polarization of society” and said that attacks were happening in places where the LGBTQ community is most visible like the city centre or Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Schöneberg.
Although Slowik linked part of the increase in more reporting, she also said there was a “dark field” in this area of crime, so that many more attacks were going unreported.
The Berliner Morgenpost reports that Berlin’s Attorney General, Margarete Koppers, told the event that out of 261 attacks only 51 one of them made it to court. In most cases, the accused was fined, although four were sent to prison or received a juvenile punishment for robbery and bodily injuries.
It’s not just in Berlin that there is a rise in anti-LGBTQ crimes, as figures from the German Interior Ministry show there’s also a rise nationally, with LGBTQ-related properties also being attacked.
Doris Achelwilm, from the Left Party, called on the government to take more action, and that she felt the attacks reflected issues of a societal nature. “The increase in violence is not a coincidence,” she said.
“It emerges from a social climate that puts minorities under pressure and threatens them in a new way.”
Helmut Metzner, a spokesperson for the Lesbian and Gay Association, said: “Effective measures for prevention, recording crimes and prosecution must be introduced. Facilities for victims must be adequately supported.”
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Author: Matt Moore