As part of an international day against homophobia, Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is urging anyone who has been a victim of homophobic hate-crime to come forward and report it.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is a day that aims to raise awareness of the issues that the gay community often face and challenge homophobic attitudes.
Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Being targeted because of your sexuality is unacceptable and intolerable.
"I would advise anyone that is affected by this crime not to endure this suffering alone and by coming forward you will also be helping others who have not yet found the confidence to report it for themselves.
"If you have been a victim of homophobic or transphobic hate-crime report it to the police and with the support of other agencies they will be there to help you."
Superintendent Andy Williams said: "We know that homophobic hate-crime often goes unreported and we want to encourage anyone who has been a victim to come forward and report it to us.
"Nobody should ever be targeted because of their sexuality and today we want to make it clear that we will do everything we can to bring the perpetrators to justice . . . but we can only do that if people have the courage and the confidence to come forward and report it to us."
Homophobic hate crime can be anything from name-calling through to harassment, sexual and physical assaults and in the worst case scenario even murder.
A report by Stonewall (the charity which campaigns for equal gay rights in the UK) suggested that three quarters of those that had experienced homophobic hate crime didn't report it to the police thinking that nothing would be done.
Superintendent Williams said: "We really want to challenge the view that nothing will be done. We will do everything in our power to put a stop to this type of crime but we can only do it in conjunction with the gay community."
If you have been a victim of a hate crime and would like to report it to the police contact 101 or 999 in an emergency.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or contact anti-homophobic hate crime charity EACH visit their website www.eachaction.org.uk
Posted on Friday 17th May 2013