WEST Mercia saw more hate crimes committed against transgender people in 2022-23 than during the year before, new figures show.

The Home Office says public discussion by political leaders and the media could be behind a rise in transphobic hate crime across the country.

New figures from the Home Office show West Mercia Police recorded 105 hate crimes against transgender people in the year to March – a rise from 91 in 2021-22.

This follows the national trend – the data also shows an 11% rise in anti-transgender offences across England and Wales, with more than 4,700 crimes recorded in 2022-23.

Responding to the figures, LGBTQ+ group Stonewall criticised political leaders for not having acted "seriously or quickly enough" against hate crime.

The charity further added: "Many of them are filling the public domain with toxic language that dehumanises LGBTQ+ people".

In its write-up of the statistics, the Home Office said: "Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offences, or more awareness in the police in the identification and recording of these crimes."

West Mercia Police recorded 2,142 hate crimes in 2022-23 – down from 2,272 the year before.

Among these, 1,399 offences (65%) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 386 (18%) by sexual orientation, 58 (3%) by religious belief, while 278 crimes (13%) were against those with disabilities.

Individual offences can have more than one motivating factor.

Last year saw the first recorded drop in hate crime offences across England and Wales – falling from 153,500 in 2021-22 to 145,200 in the year to March.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said there is "no place for hate in our society" and the Government remains "committed to ensuring these abhorrent offences are stamped out".