Hate crime victims ‘stunned’ after police give them a panic alarm
Two victims of a homophobic hate crime in Warwickshire said they were “stunned” when police gave them a panic alarm and advised them not to go out alone in response to a brutal attack.
Bradley Hunt, who competed on X Factor in 2016 as part of the duo Brattavio, was attacked with his friend Tristan Gillet at a nightclub in Leamington in February. Hunt was left with broken teeth, a black eye, and damage to his nose, cheekbone and forehead when three men took issue with his dancing to a Britney Spears song.
One man asked Hunt, “Can you stop dancing like that?” before all three men started “ricocheting, punching and thumping” him, according to the Coventry Observer.
Police arrested two men who are on bail following the attack. But Hunt and Gillet are now criticising Warwickshire Police after Hunt was given a panic alarm in order to combat further attacks.
“I am disgusted with the police. They are not doing enough.”
— Tristan Gillet
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In an interview with the Coventry Observer on June 20, Gillet accused the police of being “less than helpful.” He said: “I am disgusted with the police. They are not doing enough. All they said to me was I should not go out of the house alone. I have been attacked before and they did nothing.”
The number of hate crimes is rising across the UK
Hunt said he has been also been attacked several times in Leamington and believes more needs to be done to tackle the growing problem of hate crime across the country.
Responding to Gillet’s claim, Superintendent Mike Smith of Warwickshire Police said: “Warwickshire is a diverse place to live and the majority of people embrace this diversity. We are committed to playing our part in ensuring the county is a safe place to live, work and, visit for everyone.
“There are a small number who victimise people because of who they are. This is wrong and we are committed to addressing it.”
A recent investigation by The Guardian found that LGBT+ hate crime in the UK has more than doubled in the past four years. There were 4,600 LGBT+ hate crimes reported in 2014, but in 2018 that number rose to 11,600. This unfortunate trend is also seen in Warwickshire, where in 2013 there were 24 reported hate crimes compared to 94 in 2018.
The Founder of Warwickshire Pride, Daniel Browne, said that attacks were becoming commonplace. Recent incidents included a transgender person having their windows smashed and an LGBT+ charity trustee who also has learning disabilities attacked in a McDonalds.