Police arrest first two suspects for hate crime against "Emos" after murder of student who was targeted because she looked like a goth


Police arrest first two suspects for hate crime against 'Emos' after murder of student who was targeted because she looked like a goth
A boy, 14, and man, 44, were arrested for punching an 'Emo' in the faceGreater Manchester Police treated assault as hate crime
Force changed the way it records attacks on alternative cultures
Came after Sophie Lancaster was murdered because of her appearance

By
Becky Evans

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 11 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:41 GMT, 11 April 2013

Police have made their first arrests using new hate crime policies used to protect those with alternative lifestyles.

A boy aged 14 and a man aged 44, both from Manchester, were held after a 16-year-old boy, described as an 'Emo' was punched in the face.

The case is the first since Greater Manchester Police (GMP) adopted new crime recording procedures to cover members of alternative cultures.

Sophie Lancaster

Greater Manchester Police

The new policies at Greater Manchester Police were sparked by the murder of Sophie Lancaster, 20, who was attacked in a park with her boyfriend who took exception to her appearance

Last week, the force became the first in the country to say it will record attacks on goths, emos, punks and heavy metal fans and other minority groups as hate crimes.

Incidents are now recorded in much the same way as assaults on people due to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

The new policy came after a campaign led by Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter Sophie, 20, was battered to death because of her goth appearance by a gang of men in 2007.

The two people held after the attack
on the 16-year-old were arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning
actual bodily harm after the attack in the Tameside area on Monday.

The pair have been released on police bail until May 7.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry
Shewan, of GMP, said: 'Officers will be reviewing CCTV and speaking to
witnesses in order to investigate this attack thoroughly, as we do with
all crimes.

Sylvia Lancaster set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in memory of her daughter to campaign against intolerance

Sylvia Lancaster set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in memory of her daughter to campaign against intolerance

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said the use of the new measures was 'positive'

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said the use of the new measures was 'positive'

'It is unfortunate that this incident
happened but the fact we were able to identify this as a hate crime is
very positive. Just last Thursday we announced that we will now record
alternative sub-culture as a hate motivation.

'We hope this encourages victims to continue to come forward so we can take positive action against offenders.'

Sylvia Lancaster set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which campaigns against intolerance and prejudice.

Sophie and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, were beaten without provocation as they walked through a park in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007.

Mr Maltby was beaten unconscious and as Sophie cradled his head in her lap, she was set upon by two of them.

Sophie, who was due to start an English degree at university a month later, suffered horrendous injuries.

She survived for 13 days in intensive care before the decision was made to switch off her life support machine.

Ryan Herbert, 16, admitted murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years. Brendan Harris, who was convicted after a trial, was given a minimum term of 18 years.