Hate Crimes: Public back wide definition

May 16, 2013, 8:57 AM GMT+0

Over two thirds of public say attacking someone for being a goth counts as a hate crime - and majorities say hate crimes should cover offences against every group mentioned, from racial to political

In April Greater Manchester Police became the first force in the United Kingdom to record attacks on members of subcultures such as goths and emos as hate crimes, after Sophie Lancaster was killed by youths for the way she dressed. Traditionally the offence has been reserved for attacks against race, religion, disability, sexuality and transgender identity.

Today new YouGov research reveals that over two thirds of the public (68%) support extending the hate crime offence to cover attacks on subcultures, while three quarters and upwards support the term being used to cover its traditional areas.

In fact, majorities support extending the offence to every group the poll mentioned: 59% say it should apply to age-related abuse; 56% for weightist attacks; and 51% for offences based on height, hair colour or a person’s political views.

Sophie's mother, Sylvia Lancaster, says she thinks what the police are doing “will make a vast difference” and has set up a charity called The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to tackle intolerance towards victimised groups.

Not yet a member of YouGov? Make your opinion count by joining today!