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article imageAbuse against goths and punks is now a hate crime in Manchester

By Owen Weldon     Apr 5, 2013 in World
A police force in Manchester, England, will now start treating violence and abuse against goths and punks as hate crimes.
According to Time, offences that are committed on the grounds of race, religion, disability or sexual orientation are already treated as hate crimes across the United Kingdom, but Greater Manchester Police (GMP) will start to record crimes committed against alternative subcultures in the same way. Goths, emos, punks and metallers all fall into that category.
According to BoingBoing, Manchester police say that that change will allow officers to give more support to victims who were the target of violence due to them being goth or punk. However, it does not mean that tougher sentences will be imposed.
According to RawStory, the change follows the murder of Sophie Lancaster, who was a goth that was murdered in 2007. She was beaten to death by a gang of teenagers who targeted her and her boyfriend because of how they were dressed.
Lynne Featherstone, Equalities minister, last year, said that the list of hate crimes is "incomplete".
The judge who sent Lancaster's murderers to jail described the attack as a hate crime, and a charity was set up in her memory has campaigned for it to be recognized as such.
Goths are defined as, by the Oxford English Dictionary, as a performer or fan of goth music, or as someone who adopts a similar appearance, typically by wearing dark clothes, pale skin coloring and dark eye make-up. According to BBC, some "goths" may also wear metallic jewelry that is bulky.
Goth.net, which is a forum that revolves around goth culture, defines goth as "free-thinking and rejection of dogma".
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