Trans girl assaulted by teen as friends hurled ‘appalling’ abuse ‘because of how she looked’

Two photos of a teenaged boy

A group of boys hurled abuse at a trans girl before one of them assaulted her, police have said.

Lancashire police have released CCTV images of a boy they would like to speak to following the “appalling incident”, which took place on April 24, in Great Harwood, Lancashire.

The Lancashire Constabulary said: “We are appealing for help to find them after an assault in Great Harwood where a young girl was subjected to [anti-]transgender abuse and attacked.

“It was reported a teenage girl had offensive comments directed at her by a group of boys and she was then assaulted by one of the group.”

PC Nagina Ahmed, of the East Hate Crime Unit, said: ”This was an appalling incident where a young girl has been abused and then physically assaulted simply because of how she looked.

“I would ask anyone who knows this individual to come forward and speak to us.

Anybody who recognises the youth in the image should call police on 101, quoting log 1257 of April 24, 2022.

Unidentified young male spotted on CCTV footage (Image: Lancashire Police)

Anti-trans violence is sadly is all too common in a post-lockdown Britain, with an alarming surge in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes recorded by UK police forces since the pandemic began.

2021 saw at least 14,670 homophobic hate crimes in the UUK between January and August. Comparatively, 2020 saw 11,841 in the same period and there were 10,817 in the first six months of 2019.

The figure soared to 2,211 per month as lockdown restrictions began to ease around May to August. At the same time, there were 324 transphobic incidents.

“LGBT+ people have struggled throughout the pandemic, with many not having access to vital support networks and spaces during lockdowns,” Eloise Stonborough, Stonewall’s associate director of policy and research, told LBC in December.

“It’s always worrying to see an increase in anti-LGBT+ hate crime, particularly at a time when our communities were more isolated than ever.”