Brighton police hunt for gang of men who hurled stones at women in homophobic attack

Sussex Police want to speak to these four men

Police are hunting a group of young men suspected of a homophobic attack on two women on Brighton beach.

On Tuesday (10 October), Sussex Police launched an appeal to identify four individuals who were pictured on the beach. 

The suspects are shown wearing dark clothing, with three of them holding balloons in their mouths. All are of a slim build. 

The women, both in their thirties, told Sussex Police that they were verbally abused by the group who also threw stones at them. The incident occurred on the decking near Kings Road Arches, in August.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact police online or via 101, quoting serial number 1104 of 20/08.

A study last year described Brighton as a “safe haven” and a “place to escape” thanks to the work of LGBTQ+ charities and not-for-profit organisations. Despite this, Brighton remains a place for many homophobic and transphobic incidents.

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Home Offices statistic released last week revealed there were 145,214 hate crimes were recorded by police in England and Wales in the year to March 2023, with transphobic incidences shooting up by 11 per cent. 

The Home Office noted a possible link between the rise in incidents reported – to 4,732 offences – and anti-trans comments made by politicians. 

Last month, Brighton councillor Alison Thomson was forced to apologise after liking transphobic posts on social media.

Thomson said she was “deeply sorry for the hurt caused” and added: “I am committed to undergoing training to better understand the lived experiences of transgender people and with the aim of becoming a good trans ally.”

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