After Manchester Police Force’s lead in taking hate crime against alternative subcultures other forces are considering following their lead.
The SOPHIE campaign are pleased to report that bosses from four forces – Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Lancashire – are now in talks with the GMP to find out more. It makes you proud to live in Manchester to know our police force are this hip.
Police forces across the country are considering following in Greater Manchester’s footsteps by introducing new hate crime policies for Goths and other groups.
Greater Manchester Police became the first force to adopt new procedures to cover members of alternative cultures after the murder of Goth student Sophie Lancaster in 2007.
Officers now note offences against Goths, emos and other groups as hate crimes, as they do already with crimes aimed at race, disability or sexual orientation. One report against Goths and others has been received every week since the recording began in April.
New figures reveal there have been eight reports of hate crime and three hate incidents, including five assaults, criminal damage and robbery.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said other forces were keen to follow the lead. He said: “Some of these crimes have been horrendous. As with all hate crime, it is abhorrent to think that someone would attack another human being for how they looked or what they believed in.
“It is encouraging to see that people have been coming forward and speaking out about being victims of hate crime and hate incidents but I now want this to increase so we can stamp it out.”
The high-profile campaign was led by Sylvia Lancaster.
“Some of the crimes that have been reported so far have been assaults. What happened to Sophie could, quite frighteningly, happen to someone else. Why should people be attacked for how they look? It isn’t right and it shouldn’t happen.”
A hate crime is defined as a criminal act which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s alternative sub-culture identity, disability, race, religion or sexual orientation.