UK’s LGBT venues heighten security amid fear of ‘copycat’ Orlando terror attacks
LGBT venues across the UK have revealed their fear for repeat attacks following mass shootings in the US.
50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
The hateful attack has put LGBT communities across the globe on high alert.
Jeremy Joseph, owner of G-A-Y venues throughout the UK, told the BBC: “I’ve spoken to police and they’ve been very reassuring but the problem is that it’s lone people doing this.
“There’s a concern now that there’s going to be a copycat person who’s going to attempt this here.”
“What they’re trying to do is create as much devastation as possible and take as many lives as possible.”
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Following terrorist attacks on music venues in Paris in November last year, there was a heightened awareness in the UK, with many venues changing their security measures to come into line with advice given by police who specialise in terrorism.
Joseph stressed the importance for customers to be more vigilant when they’re in LGBT bars and clubs.
“I know this sounds awful but customers can be stupid. They come in, leave their bag on the floor, and go to the bar or toilet and just leave it there. We’re trying to get customers to be vigilant.”
The attack has brought together global LGBT communities together for vigils, remembering the lives lost.
The shooting is thought to be the biggest mass killing of LGBT people since the Holocaust, with 50 people confirmed dead and 53 being treated in hospital for serious injuries.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. Many families are still waiting for information on their loved ones.