Agence France-Presse

UK police make first hate crime arrest involving 'alternative subcultures,' after attack on 'emo' teen


Armenian "emo" teens hug in Yerevan on December 15, 2010.



After the first report of hate crime under new policing policy related to alternative subcultures, Greater Manchester Police have arrested two people for assaulting an "emo" teenage boy.

The police said they had arrested a 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man after a complaint from a 16-year-old describing himself as an "emo."

Emo — short for "emotional" punk, or hardcore — refers to a style of rock music and associated fashion.

The Greater Manchester Police just last week became the first UK force to recognize alternative subcultures such as "goths" (gothics), punks and emos as a recordable motivation for hate crime.

According to the UK Mirror, the campaign for the policy change was led by Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter Sophie, 20 — a goth — was beaten to death because of her appearance by a gang in a park in 2007.

The police already regard attacks based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity as hate crimes, the Associated Press pointed out.

The Mirror quoted a friend of the victim who was also attacked, aged 14, as saying

"What right does anyone have to judge someone on what they like? If they are going to classify crimes like this as hate crimes, that’s good because it could make the punishment more severe when they are dealt with in court."

The Guardian quoted Assistant chief constable Garry Shewan as saying:

"Officers will be reviewing CCTV and speaking to witnesses in order to investigate this attack thoroughly… 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 subculture as a hate motivation. We hope this encourages victims to continue to come forward so we can take positive action against offenders."

More from GlobalPost: Attacks on goths and punks are hate crimes, says Manchester police

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