Essex Police have launched a probe after a gang of some 20 thugs hurled homophobic abuse and threatened two young boys in Basildon, England.
As England grapples with an escalating rate of homophobic hate crimes, a hunt is underway to find a throng of young people who targeted two teens in Lake Meadows, a park in Billericay, on Thursday afternoon (1 July).
According to county law enforcement, witnesses shared reports on social media of seeing around 20 youths threatening two boys.
“We received reports of a group of people acting aggressively towards and threatening two boys in Lake Meadows, Basildon shortly before 5pm on Thursday, 1 July,” a spokesperson for the force told the newspaper.
“It was also reported the victims were subjected to homophobic abuse.
“The incident is being treated as a hate crime.”
“If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.
“Please quote incidents 858 and 968 of July 1.
“You can also call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Between 2015 and 2018, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes more than doubled in England and Wales.
Across these four years, the rate of LGBT+ hate crime, including offences such as harassment, assault and stalking, rocketed up by 144 per cent.