Manchester pair held over attack on 'emo'

'Hate crime' arrest Photo: GMP

Police have made their first arrests using new hate crime policies aimed to protect those with alternative lifestyles.

A boy aged 14 and a man aged 44, both from Manchester, were held after a 16-year-old boy, described as an "Emo" was punched in the face.

The case is the first since Greater Manchester Police (GMP) adopted new crime recording procedures to cover members of alternative cultures.

It means GMP, the first force to do so, will record offences committed against goths, or other sub-culture groups, as hate crimes, as they do already with offences aimed at race, disability or sexual orientation.

A campaign for the change was led by Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter Sophie, 20, was battered to death because of her Goth appearance by a gang of thugs in 2007.

The two people held after the attack on the 16-year-old were arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and have been released on police bail until May 7.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan of GMP said: "Officers will be reviewing CCTV and speaking to witnesses in order to investigate this attack thoroughly, as we do with all crimes.

"It is unfortunate that this incident happened but 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 sub-culture as a hate motivation.

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

If anyone witnessed the incident and has any information they can contact Tameside North Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0161 856 9350, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.