Hate crime: First arrest for attack on emo teenager

Sophie Lancaster tolerance game card Twenty-year-old goth Sophie Lancaster was kicked and stamped on by youths in a Bacup park

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Two people have been arrested over an assault on an emo teenager - a week after police began recording attacks on subculture members as hate crimes.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is the first force in the UK to register such offences.

A 16-year-old boy describing himself as an emo was assaulted in Ashton town centre on Monday, officers said.

A 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man from Manchester have been arrested on suspicion of assault.

They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

'Hope victims encouraged'

The assault is the first to be investigated as an alternative subculture hate crime.

The emo subculture revolves around musical tastes and specific fashions.

Emos often wear dark clothing similar to goths, but the fashion for spiky, coloured hair and studded clothing shows punk influences.

GMP has worked with a charity set up following the murder of 20-year-old goth Sophie Lancaster in 2007 to change attitudes to subcultures.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "It is unfortunate that this incident happened but the fact we were able to identify this as a hate crime is very positive.

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

"Officers will be reviewing CCTV and speaking to witnesses in order to investigate this attack thoroughly, as we do with all crimes."

Offences recorded as hate crimes can receive higher sentences but for that to happen legislation would also need to change.

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