Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ community: Concern increases following spike in hate crimes 

With Wales bidding to be the most queer-friendly nation in Europe, the LGBTQ+ people think it is time for authorities to make Cardiff a safer city.  

LGBTQ+ Flag painted on castle street, Cardiff
LGBTQ+ Flags painted on Castle Street to commemorate the LGBTQ+ History month 

People of the LGBTQ+ community are increasingly concerned about their own safety in the wake of an increase of hate crimes in Cardiff.  

According to Welsh government’s pledge, the country aims to become the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. But in terms of acceptance towards the queer community, many hate crimes like vandalism, harassment and assault have been on a rise.  

Jack (not his real name), a victim to homophobic hostility said, “I was assaulted at a bar. They all seemed nice at first, but then they suddenly turned on me and got hostile with me when I made a passing statement. They even pinned me to a car. It was so traumatising. This is only the most recent one. I have reported five incidents to the police in the last five weeks.” 

Jack’s experience with multiple incidents of homophobic hostility is in line with a report from the Home Office Statistics which cited that the number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation have doubled in the last four years in Wales.

Infographic showing the number of sexual orientation- based hater crimes in England and Wales. 2016-2021

Earlier this week, three people responsible for Dr Gary Jenkins’ murder were convicted, which prompted people to come forward and voice their concern about the increasing intolerance towards the community. 

The LGBTQ+ community and campaigners in Cardiff are urging the police and city authorities to take action to make Cardiff a safer city for the community. According to Jack, a big part of this problem is that hate crimes are often dismissed as banter or neighbour disputes, leaving room for many unreported hate crimes.  

Many campaigners like Iestyn Wyn and Ashley Lister have publicly said that the police trying to up the security is not enough to make the crimes stop, a lot of work needs to be done by working with the community by educating them.  

Rob Keetch, Patron of Pride Cymru and trustee of Safer Wales said, “Change can only happen when people are willing to listen. When conversation happens, when visibility is increased, education is shared then acceptance follows.” 

According to Jack, “In my experience many of these criminals committing hate crimes are not even 18. They are very young; early intervention in schools is the only way to stop this kind of behaviour in the long run. ”

He also said that how to behave towards the LGBTQ+ community needs to be taught in schools in just like every other thing required to discipline them. “Until and unless there’s something imposed on children, they will never learn and they’ll grow up to become homophobic.”   

According to Rob, “As peoples voices get louder whether that be for LGBTQ rights, or other minority groups then those in the majority raise their voices to shout them down.”

If you are witness to any hate crime, click the link to know how you can report it or help a victim.