MetalTalk.net wishes to congratulate The Sophie Lancaster Foundation on its successful and longstanding campaign to ensure that police take hate crimes against those who express their individuality, creativity and/or musical associations in dressing alternatively much more seriously.
It has long been acknowledged that the five listed categories within hate crime law - race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity - are limited and that hate crimes are not exclusive to only people in these groups. Police have long acknowledged that very often they find themselves powerless to help individuals and prosecute protagonists effectively as this law is not as complete as it needs to be for effective policing.
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So now, Manchester police are first in the UK to start recording offences against members of alternative subcultures that includes "goths, emos, punks and metallers" and members of other alternative groups.
"People who wish to express their alternative sub-culture identity freely should not have to tolerate hate crime," Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said.
MetalTalk hopes police forces across the UK implement the same policy and we also think of Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby who were murdered in August 24th 2007 in a horrific hate crime. This crime was initiated by teenage boys who objected to the way Sophie and Rob dressed and expressed their individuality.