In what is being treated as a homophobic attack, an on-duty police officer in Birmingham has been left with fractured ribs.
Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.
According to West Midlands Police, a female officer was responding to reports of an altercation in Birmingham’s Gay Village on 31 December 2021 at around 8pm.
Police issued a statement that they are supporting the officer after she sustained injuries at the scene.
“An attack on a police officer is unacceptable whatever the circumstances,” a spokesperson explained. “Our staff work tirelessly to protect the public and help those in their time of need.”
A 31-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.
They are said to also be the suspected of a hate-related public order offence after reportedly targeting the officer with homophobic slurs.
It comes after a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in Birmingham, which has even resulted in protests in the city.
On 10 October, Kesseler was struck with a bottle across the head by a man who was reportedly angered by him holding hands with a male friend as they walked to their hotel.
Just over a week earlier, Matt Brooks was beaten and left unconscious at around 2am on 30 September outside the fast food restaurant Urban Kitchen in what he believes was “more than likely” a hate crime.
Police have reportedly increased patrols in the Gay Village in response to the hate crimes, with civic leaders confirming that £200,000 will be invested into supporting victims of hate crimes.
During a recent visit to Tyseley Energy Park on 4 January, Labour leader Keir Starmer said hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community is “unacceptable”.
He added: “When I was Director of Public Prosecutions, we put a real focus on hate crime, making sure it was properly recorded. We need to maintain that, and focus on whatever the form of hate crime is.
“Sometimes people have this perception that hate crime is some minor offence, but it has a real impact on people’s lives and needs to be taken very, very seriously.”
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. They can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. You can find out more about them here.