A six-year-old has been left too scared to leave the house after his homophobic neighbour shouted that will “die of AIDS“.
In Ely, a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, a father was left fearing for his child’s life when his neighbour unleashed a torrent of abuse against him without warning.
The father, who has not been named and is a member of the LGBT+ community, told the Ely Standard that his son was left “too scared” to leave the house again.
He was told “you will die of AIDS” and he will “grow up to be a f****t” for around 10 minutes, according to video footage documented by the father in October.
“We went inside, our six-year-old went into the garden and you could hear the shouting,” the boy’s father told the news outlet.
“We wondered what was going on; he was screaming at our son so I got my child inside.”
He added: “My son thought the man was in our garden because he was so loud.
“The week after this happened, my son was too scared to go out in the garden.”
Victims of homophobic hate crimes too ’embarrassed’ to speak out
His neighbour’s homophobic outburst, the father said, came after he shouted “racist comments” in July. The incident was passed onto the Cambridgeshire Police, which covers Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The father added that he spoke to members of Ely’s LGBT+ community who have been “fantastic” in their support for his family.
He call on those who are too “embarrassed” to report anti-LGBT+ abuse and harassment to still flag it with the authorities.
“I’d still urge them to report,” the father said, “and maybe something will happen.”
A spokesperson for the force told the Ely Standard: “We are currently progressing with a community resolution and a letter of apology in relation to his behaviour and comments made.
“No charges or arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing.
Punched, kicked, stabbed, spat on and killed – anger and resentment towards the police has grown in Britain across the last decade as a significant, years-long upswing in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes takes hold.
In Cambridgeshire county alone, at least 143 anti-LGB hate crimes took place between January and August this year. Police forces tend to include both physical and verbal harassment in their definitions of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes.
Experts warn that more than the majority of victims of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes never file a complaint with the authorities in the first place. Per government data, nine in 10 LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported.
Even so, the authorities say that anti-gay hate crimes have tripled and transphobic attacks have quadrupled in the last six years. Between 2014 and 2021, LGBT+ hate crime and harassment soared by 210 per cent.
Across the UK’s 45 territorial law enforcement agencies, only 10 recorded a decrease in hate crimes.