Counties across mid, west and north Wales saw more hate crimes committed against transgender people in 2022-23 than during the year before, new figures show.

The Home Office says public discussion by political leaders and the media could be behind a rise in transphobic hate crime across the country.

New figures from the Home Office show an increase in reported transphobic hate crimes to both Dyfed-Powys Police and North Wales Police.

Dyfed-Powys recorded 34 hate crimes against transgender people in the year to March – a rise from 25 in 2021-22, while North Wales recorded 61 in the same timeframe – up from 50 the previous year.

This follows the national trend – the data also shows an 11 per cent rise in anti-transgender offences across Wales and England, with more than 4,700 crimes recorded in 2022-23.

Responding to the figures, LGBTQ+ group Stonewall criticised political leaders for not having acted "seriously or quickly enough" against hate crime.

The charity further added: "Many of them are filling the public domain with toxic language that dehumanises LGBTQ+ people".

In its write-up of the statistics, the Home Office said: "Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offences, or more awareness in the police in the identification and recording of these crimes."

Dyfed-Powys Police recorded 750 hate crimes in 2022-23 – down from 824 the year before.

Among these, 458 offences (61 per cent) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 128 (17 per cent) by sexual orientation, 24 (3 per cent) by religious belief, while 106 crimes (14 per cent) were against those with disabilities.

And North Wales Police recorded 1,346 hate crimes in 2022-23 – a drop from 1,520 the previous year.

Among these, 862 offences (64 per cent) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 279 (21 per cent) by sexual orientation, 57 (4 per cent) by religious belief, while 170 crimes (13 per cent) were against those with disabilities.

Individual offences can have more than one motivating factor.

Last year saw the first recorded drop in hate crime offences across Wales and England – falling from 153,500 in 2021-22 to 145,200 in the year to March.

These figures do not include Devon and Cornwall Police, which could not provide figures because of an issue with a new IT system.

Victim Support – a charity for those impacted by crime and abuse – suggested declining trust in police forces across the country could be responsible for the drop in police-recorded hate crimes.

Becca Rosenthal, national hate crime lead at the charity, said: "Those we support increasingly tell us that they are reluctant to approach the police, so these figures could simply reflect less people reporting to the police. Given this, independent support services for victims have never been more important."

A spokesperson for the Home Office said there is "no place for hate in our society" and the UK Government remains "committed to ensuring these abhorrent offences are stamped out".

They added: "We are pleased there has been an overall reduction in hate crimes recorded by police, and the numbers of sexual orientation, race and disability hate crimes all fell. But any instance is one too many.

"We expect the police to fully investigate these hateful attacks and make sure the cowards who commit them feel the full force of the law."