Anthony Watson is urging Government to legislate for ‘trans zones’ to be created in major towns and cities to help protect minority group against alarming rise in hate crime
The Labour Party’s diversity and equality advisor and British entrepreneur, Anthony Watson, is calling on the Government to designate ‘safe spaces’ across the UK for transgender people in a bid to protect them from the worrying rise in hate crime.
Mr Watson wants Ministers to give Local Authorities the powers to outline special zones for transgender people so they can socialise safely with family, friends and the wider LGBT+ community.
The equality tsar’s demands comes as a recent report by Stonewall – Britain’s leading LGBT charity – found that two in five trans people (41 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months. It also states that three in ten non-binary people (31 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity, with younger trans adults at the greatest risk: 53 per cent of trans people aged 18 to 24 have experienced a hate crime or incident based on their gender identity over the last year.
Mr Watson, a tech entrepreneur who chairs Dawn Butler MP’s diversity and equalities board, says safe spaces – or trans zones – will give the minority group confidence to be themselves without the fear of being verbally abused or physically attacked.
The Labour advisor believes the Brexit vote, which has sown division and discourse within society, has meant trans people have increasingly been subject to hate crime.
Anthony Watson said:
“The decision to leave the European Union has ripped open deep dividing lines within the UK, creating a culture in which some people think targeting trans people is acceptable.
“The hate crime statistics prove that minority groups within society are prone to attack from fellow citizens, and thousands of cases go unreported every year. But one hate crime incident is one too many. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“That’s why I’m urging the Government to devolve powers to Mayors and Local Authorities across Britain so they can designate safe spaces for trans people. It could be part of a long-term solution in making them feel comfortable within their communities while promoting social cohesion.”