RESIDENTS are living in fear after being spat at as they go about their business in Bracknell town centre – simply because of their sexuality. 

The News can exclusively reveal that multiple members of the LGBT community have faced homophobic abuse as they have shopped in the The Lexicon in recent months.

One anonymous source claims to have been spat on as he 
visited the shopping centre last week. 

When asked whether or not he had reported the incidents to the police he stated: “If I or someone else were to do that every time something happened, they would need to set up a stall and a queuing system.

“I have had people old and young abuse me and even spit on me.”

The shocking incident has been condemned by The Lexicon management.

The victim, speaking to the News, explained how he was walking through the town centre when he was showered with abuse, and then saliva.

He explained: “Bracknell is a beautiful place filled with interesting and amazing people, however we still have a handful of small minded people who aren’t comfortable in their own skin so want to ruin others who are.”

The source also claims that this is a daily occurrence for many local residents.

Shocking statistics released by Stonewall, the LGBT charity, show that one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last year. 

Stonewall’s stats also showed that four in five LGBT people who have experienced hate crime or incidents of a similar nature don’t report them to police. 

Lexicon managers said they were disappointed to hear about the incidents and they take such reports ‘very seriously.’

Rob Morris, general manager at The Lexicon, said: “We are disappointed to hear that a customer experienced abuse from other customers while visiting The Lexicon.

“We take the conduct of all customers very seriously and would encourage anyone experiencing any abuse to make either our security team or Thames Valley Police aware.”

Paul Twocock, director of Campaigns, Policy and Research at Stonewall UK said: “No lesbian, gay, bi or trans person should have to deal with homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse. Our report LGBT in Britain – Hate Crime and Discrimination found that four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes go unreported, with younger people particularly reluctant to go to the police.

“It’s vital that we improve confidence in the way the criminal justice system deals with LGBT hate crime. We want a review of hate crime laws so that crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability are treated equally to those based on race and faith. Stonewall works closely with the police to make sure all LGBT people feel more confident and comfortable in reporting hate crimes.”

The problem is also prominent in schools, as 45 per cent of LGBT students at school admit they’ve been bullied due to their sexuality. 

A worrying 80 per cent of secondary school teachers from across the country have stated they have not received any guidance as to how to combat homophobic bullying.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said they could not comment on the matter.