Greater Manchester Police are the first force in the UK to begin recording crimes against sub-culture groups in the hope that they can provide reassurance to such as goths and punks and deliver a clear public message that – ‘it’s OK to be different’.
There will be no changes to the way such crimes are charged unless new legislation is introduced.
Previously hate crimes were only registered for offences against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity and GMP believe that by recording such crimes as subculture groups it will not protect the victims but raise awareness of the problem.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan said:
“We want to give confidence to victims, open up support services tand build awareness of the problem.
“For the first time we are saying to alternative groups that they are all protected by the police and against crimes motivated by hate”.
Earlier ACC Shewan had said:
“This new understanding of hate crime is a “major breakthrough” adding “This means that we can recognise the impact that that alternative subculture hate crime has on its victims and the wider community”.
You can alert Greater Manchester Police know about any crime against alternative subcultures via the national True Vision online reporting form. Selet ‘Other’ as a category and write ‘alternative subculture’ in the box provided.
Greater Manchester Police has been working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, set up following the death of 20 year old Goth Sophie, a victim of subculture hate crime who was fatally attacked in 2007.