For some reason, Manchester and the surrounding districts in Lancashire seem to be one of the UK’s key hotspots for hate crime against Goths, although I am prepared to accept that this may simply be due to a combination of the sheer number of Goth and alt folk who live in the area, along with an enhanced rate of reporting such crimes, due to the work of the Greater Manchester Police’s special unit for such.
Obviously the best known and objectively worst anti-Goth hate crime in the area was of course the attack and death of Sophie Lancaster in 2007, but sadly, hate crimes against Goths and other related alt cultures in the Manchester and Lancashire area are still a semi-regular feature on the local news.
The latest recorded attack took place in Bury at around 5.30pm on the 24th May, when a girl of just 13 years old was walking near to the Angouleme Retail Park off George Street.
The 13 year old victim was called a “Goth” and then punched in the face and dragged to the ground by another girl who was accompanied by two boys. The victim, who has not been named due to her age, received a split lip and bad bruising as a result of the attack, and is recovering at home.
Police in the area are appealing for help in finding a girl and two boys, all three of whom are thought to be teenagers as well, as part of their investigation.
The girl who led the attack is described as white, in her mid to late teens and blonde haired, and was wearing a blue hoodie and jeans at the time of the attack. One of the two boys who accompanied her is described as wearing a brown jumper.
Anyone who may have any information on the attack or the identity of the perpetrators is urged to contact the investigating unit on 0161 856 8181, or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is now working in tandem with the Greater Manchester Police’s hate crimes unit and other police forces across the country, in order to raise awareness of hate crimes against members of alt subcultures, and to help to tackle prejudice, intolerance and hatred in its various guises wherever it is found.
The Greater Manchester Police was the first force in the country to set up a special unit dedicated to investigating and preventing hate crimes, but the police can only act if such crimes are reported. Check out our previous blog post on hate crimes against Goths to find out more.