Gay couple threatened and abused in ‘homophobic hate crime’ simply for letting their dog swim in a pond
Two gay men in Essex were targeted in a “homophobic hate crime” for the simple act of allowing their dog to swim in a pond.
Essex Police have released an appeal for information following the “hate crime”, said Essex Live, which occurred last month.
The couple were innocently walking their dog when a man approached them and launched a tirade of homophobic abuse.
Officers said they were also threatened by the man, all for allowing their dog to swim in a pond.
The incident took place as the two men were walking their dog near Gamekeepers Pond on Furze Hill, Mistley at around 10am on May 17.
The assailant is described as being a white, middle-aged man, probably aged between 45 and 55 years old, and standing at around 5’10.
Police said that he has a stocky build, short hair, and was wearing jeans and a jumper when he unleashed his homophobic abuse on the couple.
Authorities are urging anyone who might know the assailant or who witnessed the incident to submit a report online or call 101 using the crime reference number 42/69961/20.
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If you want to report information anonymously, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Anti-LGBT+ hate crimes are on the rise in England and Wales.
Many LGBT+ people continue to face disproportionate levels of violence and discrimination in the UK and across the world due to their sexual or gender identity.
Last October, data published by the Home Office showed an alarming increase in rates of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in the England and Wales over the preceding year.
There was a 37 per cent surge in the number of transphobic hate crimes, while there was a 25 per cent surge in homophobic hate crimes.
The figures also showed a 14 per cent rise in disability-based hate crimes, an 11 per cent rise in hate crime based on race, and a three per cent rise in religious-based hate crime.
Some 27 per cent of anti-trans hate crime reports were for violent offences, while 24 per cent were for stalking and harassment, and 39 per cent for other public order offences.