I feel it only fair to update you after such an outpouring of support and an almost entirely positive reaction to my posting of Hat Crime. I did albeit reluctantly do, as you said and reported the incident, first to Gary Hass at Hull City Council and then to Humberside Police. I have since then, had a number of communications with both.
Gary sent me the current campaign poster asking if I would post on here which I am happy to do. The message ‘BEING YOU IS NOT A CRIME – BUT TARGETING YOU IS’ strikes a particular chord with me and the case.
I have received a number of calls from the police whilst they gathered details from me about the incident, throughout they have been polite and sympathetic. It is with regret however that I have to announce that the investigation has been put on hold indefinitely due to a lack of admissible evidence. Without the smoking gun, in this case the CCTV image that clearly shows the assailant dragging me to the ground there is no legal grounds for a case. The antagonistic behaviour inside the pub cannot be linked, so I cannot look at the pub CCTV and point the individual out. If I did so it would not be admissible and I would be accused of tampering with the evidence. With no clear picture of the incident taking place, it becomes just another crime and I receive yet another crime number.
It’s all about the reporting my friends say. If you report it they know where to target resources more effectively than if crimes go on unreported, even when there is no likelihood of a prosecution. I went on WHCR’s Loud & Proud show to speak about Transphobia, Hate Crime and the quandaries over reporting, last week and since then I have been given permission for the story to be used further.
My hope is that they will focus on the wider issue of Transphobia and use the story as a platform to promote the upcoming Tackling Transphobia Community Engagement Event at Hull University this Friday 9th September organised by the Diversity Panel.
To quote my friend Sarah:
“The story of being strong and speaking out will inspire others to do the same. The message is still clear Intolerance will not be tolerated!”
And also Barbara:
“You did everything right and should not excuse or diminish the action you took…Neither you, nor your hat, nor the time, nor the location created this situation.”
I shall be attending the Tackling Transphobia event featuring keynote speaker DJ Stephanie Hirst in the hopes of raising awareness of the day–to-day issues faced by transfolk, particularly when understanding and responding to hate crime. Despite early misgivings regarding the outcome of this the latest attack on my person – there have been numerous others – with the hope that something positive will come out of it, I am feeling reassured that I did the right thing.
Details of Friday’s Tackling Transphobia Event Can be found here: