A new UK hate crime legislation could see the UK introduce the first national hate crime guidelines in more than 20 years.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill 2015, which will come into force on 1 July, aims to help prevent hate crime by setting out guidelines for the treatment of LGBTI people and will introduce new laws relating to discrimination.
The legislation will include new offences such as “disrupting, intimidating or interfering with” an “exchange of personal information”, “causing harassment or discrimination” and “attempting to incite hatred or prejudice” on the grounds of sexual orientation.
There are currently over 60 hate crime laws in the UK.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are now over 8,000 hate crime cases in the country each year.
The UK’s overall number of hate crimes is just over 1,000.
“The new Hate Crime Act will be an important step towards tackling hate crime in the community and help prevent more young people from being subjected to this type of behaviour,” said the Human Rights Campaign in a statement.
“We hope that the UK will use this new legislation to help bring perpetrators to justice and bring in the changes in legislation needed to protect LGBTI communities from further discrimination.”
The government has previously said it will take action against anyone who engages in hate crimes in the wake of the passing of the law.
The new bill also seeks to include LGBTI victims of hate crime, with a focus on people who are targeted for being gay, transgender or gender diverse.
“It is crucial that the government take action to protect those most vulnerable to hate crime and that all those affected by this attack can get the help they need,” said a statement from the Campaign.
“This is why the Government is bringing forward legislation to include victims of homophobic hate crime.”