The Law Commission is consulting on extending the law on hate crimes to cover sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability.

Commissioner leading the project, Professor David Ormerod QC, said: ‘We will look at options for reform that would recognise that the criminal law should protect people who are targeted because of their disability, transgender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation. We are interested in whether new aggravated offences are preferable to an enhanced sentencing regime.’

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 allows for aggravated offences, including assault and criminal damage, if race or religion have motivated or formed part of the offence, but does not make similar provision relating to disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.