London: Gay bookshop burgled

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

London’s gay bookshop Gay’s the Word is currently closed after a break-in overnight saw computer equipment and its safe stolen.

Staff confirmed the shop on Marchmont Street, north of Russell Square, was not ransacked during the break-in, but its entire safe was removed.

Last summer, the shop was vandalised by a group on bicycles. Its front window was broken after another shopfront was pelted with eggs.

Staff said the shop would remain closed this morning while finger-print teams came to dust the interior, but they hoped to reopen “within hours”.

All staff were said to be fine but the assistant manager’s computer had been stolen along with a digital camera.

The Bloomsbury shop was opened in 1979 and has faced numerous problems in recent years.

The store was saved from closure in 2007 after cash was raised partly through selling sponsored bookshelves.

A number of celebrity supporters such as lesbian author Sarah Waters and actor Ian McKellen were given bookshelves in their names. Sarah Waters described it as “more than a bookshop. It was one of those places you went to when you first arrived in London; it had its noticeboard and it was a meeting place.”

Before last year’s vandalism, the shop was hit by a 25 percent rent increase by Camden council.