HATE crime against the transgender community rose by 81.1 per cent, new figures reveal.

The statistics from Hampshire Constabulary show that reports of hate crime based on gender identity rose from 37 in 2016 to 67 in 2017.

The CEO of trans support group Chrysalis Andi Maratos said the numbers are "awful."

She added: "I think it's horrendously high. But I'm not surprised. When people are spat at coming home from work or shouted at across the street then I'm not surprised.

But what we are trying to do is change people's minds and make it normal. I think the important thing is for people not to be scared about going outside."

The Warsash -based charity Chrysalis has been designated a third party reporting centre, meaning staff there can report to the police on someone's behalf.

And now the charity has opened a new wellbeing centre in Southampton in a bid to increase its reach.

But the centre's location will only be disclosed to known members of the group in a bid to keep them safe.

The head of Hampshire police's lesbian and gay liaison team says the numbers are "encouraging".

Inspector Scott Johnson said: "I think these statistics are encouraging.

"Whilst this is a significant increase on year to date figures, I think this is a demonstration of greater confidence within the trans community to come forward and report crime.

"It may also be a reflection of the work we’ve done with our own LAGLO team, where one of our CPD days focussed on transgender issues last year, plus a number of engagement initiatives which the force has supported."