Stop Hating – Hate crime and alternative subculturesOctober 15 2015
Last month Greater Manchester Police became the first UK force to recognise attacks on goths, punks and emos as hate crimes under alternative subcultures. Hate crime is a real issue and the Greater Manchester Police are taking a stance towards tackling it and just days after the law was being enforced two people were arrested for allegedly attacking an “emo”.
What is hate crime?
Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation and now in Greater Manchester under a new category connected to alternative subcultures.
They include things like name calling and verbal abuse, bullying and harassment, spitting and physical attacks, damage to property, graffiti, and written notes, emails and text messages.
The law was changed when local people set up a campaign after the very sad case of Sophie Lancaster. The police made the decision in consultation with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity named after the 20-year-old goth who was sadly killed in 2007 after she and her boyfriend were attacked as they walked home through Stubbeylee Park, Bacup. Sophie suffered severe head injuries and never regained consciousness.
There is a website http://www.stophateuk.org/ that supplies more information for victims and to give people more advice on hate crime: they are a registered charity. The Sophie Lancaster Foundationhttp://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/ tirelessly campaigns for the recognition of attacks on alternative subcultures as a hate crime. They go into schools and youth clubs to raise awareness and help the community understand alternative subcultures and hate crime all together. It’s such a great cause under such sad circumstances.
All other categories that come under the umbrella of “hate crime” are taken very seriously and now hate against alternative subcultures is finally being taken just as seriously; it’s a step in the right direction. If you feel like you are a victim of hate crime of any kind don’t be afraid to seek help; there is advice and support out there. The Sophie Lancaster foundation host events where people can get training to advise others on hate crime towards subcultures and they help people understand and recognise different cultures.
Sometimes people don’t even know they are taking part in hate crime or being affected by hate crime. People express themselves in different ways, but this is not a reason to be judged, bullied or physically harmed; I really hope other police forcesadopt this stance towards hate towards subcultures as it’s a major issue. More information about the course with the Sophie Lancaster foundation can be found on their website and if anyone is looking to do a charity event then maybe you could on behalf of the Sophie Lancaster foundation.