BY JAMES TWOMEY
Domestic and homophobic abuse has surged in the past year, according to the Met’s recent crime figures.
Violence in the home in South London rose by 11.5 per cent in the 12 months to March, with a total of 27,614 crimes recorded.
Croydon had the worst figures in London with 4,192 – and Greenwich and Southwark were in the top five in the city with more than 7,000 reports between them.
Bexley, Merton and Lambeth saw the largest percentage changes in South London, with rises of 22, 19 and 15 per cent respectively.
Wandsworth had the lowest rate of increase, at five per cent. Bromley’s rise was six per cent and the Lewisham figures surged by nine per cent.
Lyndsey Dearlove, head of UK Says No More, a campaign for domestic abuse awareness at the charity Hestia, said: “Domestic abuse affects every aspect of a person’s life and leaves victims feeling isolated and hopeless.
“The number of incidents reported to Metropolitan Police may indicate victims are now more confident to come forward and know they will be listened to.
Specialist support such as refuge accommodation with access to children and family workers means children fleeing domestic abuse can also begin receiving specialist support.
“For too long children have been overlooked in the response to domestic abuse, seen merely as “witnesses” rather than children who have experienced deep trauma and crisis.
The latest figures released show there is still significant work to be done to eradicate domestic abuse from society.”
The Met’s figures showed there was a 19 percent increase in homophobic hate crime reports in South London with Lambeth’s 195 incidents making it the second highest in the city and Southwark third with 151 incidents behind Westminster who had the most with 266.
Bexley saw a 50 percent rise in homophobic reports which was the highest in South London and Greenwich was second highest at 37 percent with Merton third highest on 36 percent.
Gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, said: “Some of this rise in homophobic hate crimes may be due to more victims coming forward to report incidents.
But the huge increases are likely to also reflect a spike in anti-gay offences. Is a worrying trend that reinforces the need for more effective programmes in schools, youth clubs and sports associations to tackle prejudice against LGBT+ people.”
Croydon, Wandsworth and Lewisham were among the lowest homophobic reports in South London with six, eight and 15 percent rises respectively.
There was also a nearly ten percent increase in reported rapes in South London with the highest reports of rape occurring in Croydon with 485 which was also the second highest increase at 20 percent, Lewisham had the highest increase at 22 percent and Bexley increased by 19 percent.
Westminster had the highest in the city with 493 reports and Lambeth had the third highest with 452.