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4 April 2013, 09:46
Goths and emos are being offered extra protection by Greater Manchester Police, who have begun recording offences against 'alternative subcultures' as hate crimes.
That means they are covered by the same guidelines covering attacks on gay, disabled and ethnic-minority people.
Victims will be urged to fill in online reporting forms to describe themselves as members of an 'alternative sub-culture'
Greater Manchester Police is the first force in the county to adopt the policy.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "People who wish to express their alternative sub-culture identity freely should not have to tolerate hate crime.''
A police spokesman said: "From April 2013 Greater Manchester Police also now records alternative sub-culture related hate crime.
"We have done this following work we have carried out in partnership with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, as we feel that adding this extra category of hate crime will help us better understand how some people are suffering from crimes because of their appearance, and better respond to the needs of victims of crime.
"You can let Greater Manchester Police know about an alternative sub-culture hate crime via the national True Vision on-line reporting form - simply select 'other' as a category and write alternative sub-culture in the box provided."
20-year-old Sophie Lancaster was kicked and stamped to death in a park in Bacup in Lancashire in 2007.
She'd been dressed as a goth.
The foundation is campaigning to get hate crimes laws expanded to include "alternative subcultures or lifestyle and dress".