Words: Alastair James; pictures: Liverpool Echo
Police in Liverpool have released CCTV images of people of interest regarding a homophobic and transphobic attack that took place in the city in May.
The three victims are reported to have been punched, had stuff thrown at them and one had a mobile phone stolen by a group of boys and girls in the attack on 16 May. Two people suffered minor injuries.
Homophobic and transphobic comments were also reported to have been used.
“Completely and utterly despicable”
As reported in the Liverpool Echo today (27 July) Merseyside Police have released CCTV images of two groups of youths who police think can help with their inquiries.
Following the attack on Roe Street, outside the One Below shop in May, one girl from Seaforth was arrested on suspicion of assault and robbery, but was bailed and remains under investigation, the Echo reports.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Speight is quoted as saying: “It is completely and utterly despicable to think that people could be the target of verbal and physical abuse simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
He also says they have stepped up patrols in the area and introduced a mobile police station to protect LGBTQ people. He’s also appealing for people to get in touch if they know anyone in the images.
"I don't want to be gay"
In recent weeks Attitude has reported on a number of homophobic assaults in Liverpool. In June, there were three high-profile incidents in just one week, with each victim claiming the attack had been unprovoked.
Then earlier this month, Aodhán Benson, from Belfast, was attacked by men yelling homophobic slurs at him. Speaking to the Echo at the time, he said: “If this is what being gay means, then I don't want to be gay. Literally, if this is what my sexuality results in, then I'll not be gay then, if you just leave me alone.”
Figures from Merseyside Police show a 25% increase in LGBTQ hate crime between April 2020 and March of this year, compared to the year before.
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