In a move that is sure to be welcomed by anyone who enjoys dressing and looking a little bit alternative, a police force in England has started to record attacks on goths, emos and other alternative subcultures as hate crimes.
Becoming the first force in the UK to define attacks of this manner in such a way, Greater Manchester Police has said that it hopes awareness of the problem of prejudice against a person’s appearance would now be raised. Before the move, hate crimes were only recorded when attacks were made based on race, disabilities, sexual orientation, religion or transgender groups.
The GMP have been working with a charity set up in memory of Sophie Lancaster, a 20-year-old goth who was murdered in 2007 because of the way she was dressed. The charity has been working to change attitudes towards those who choose a different lifestyle or clothing to the mainstream.
Sophie Lancaster’s mother, Sylvia, said she thought what the police were doing would make a “vast” difference.
“We’re finding people are coming to us (The Sophie Lancaster Foundation) and saying since we started our campaigns they feel safer,” she told the BBC.
While this change will definitely be welcomed amongst the alternative scene, without a change in the law the police will only be able to record hate towards a particular subculture as an element in crime – although Garry Shewan, Assistant Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police, believes the new understanding of alternative hate crime would be a “major breakthrough” and that any hate crime was “insidious and evil”.
Here at Blue Banana, we’re proud to be supporters of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. As this brilliant news has been announced, we would like to take the opportunity to remind all of our valued visitors that we’re offering a cool 5% off your online order when you use the promo code “SOPHIE” at the checkout. To make this offer even better, for every use of this promo code we will make a donation to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, to help them continue the fight against prejudice, hatred and intolerance.
If you would like to read more about the Foundation and how you can help, please visit the Sophie Lancaster Foundation official website.
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