Police are investigating a street robbery which took place in the early hours this morning in Birmingham’s gay district, believing it to be “a hate crime, motivated by homophobia.”

At 12:05am on Monday morning, CCTV operators caught a confrontation between two men outside The Village Inn bar on Hurst street.

According to ITV, when officers arrived they found the suspect unconscious in the street and members of the public comforting the 22-year-old victim, who was later taken to the hospital with cuts and bruises.

The suspect was a 51-year-old man who was also taken to hospital and then arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

A large knife was seized from the scene and the man was transferred to police custody as an investigation is now underway.

Superintendent Richard Baker of the Birmingham Police said: “This was extremely frightening for everyone involved and those members of the public who stepped in to stop the robbery were extremely brave to do what they did.

“They should be praised for their quick-thinking actions and for unnecessarily putting themselves in harm’s way, choosing to risk their own safety for the greater good.

“Often when people see a crime being committed, they act instinctively to intervene and help out, but we would never encourage anyone to put themselves in a position where they feel threatened or fearful for their own safety.

“Due to the abusive comments that were allegedly made by the offender whilst carrying out the attack, we are treating what happened as a hate crime, motivated by homophobia.

“Offences motivated or aggravated by prejudice or hate will not be tolerated by West Midlands Police and the courts have the power to impose tougher sentences in these cases.”

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.