Two Hertfordshire girls have been victims of a brutal homophobic hate crime which resulted in both needing hospital treatment.
On August 13, two girls, aged 17 and 19, were attacked by a group of five in Hitchin Market Square, Hertfordshire.
The teenagers were verbally assaulted and attacked by the gang who violently beat and robbed them, Planet Radio reports.
The victims were kicked and punched before having their phones and purses stolen.
Hertfordshire police are appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information on what they believe is a homophobic hate crime.
The suspects have been described as white teenagers. One of the aggressors was seen wearing black basketball shorts and a white t-shirt.
Two of the other teenagers were reportedly wearing black hoodies and shorts.
Detective Constable Rebecca Robinson has appealed to the public for information and issued a statement on the abhorrent attack: “This was an unprovoked homophobic attack which left the victims needing hospital treatment.”
Robinson added: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the town centre last night and who saw what happened or who has any information about the incident to please contact us.”
The police have advised witnesses to contact Hertfordshire Police quoting crime reference 41/62451/21.
Alternatively, the public can anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form.
Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have shot up with figures more than doubling between 2015 and 2018.
The rate of LGBTQ+ hate crime, including offences such as harassment, assault and stalking, has increased by 144 per cent in those four years.
As hate crimes in the UK continue to surge, a similar gang-related homophobic attack occurred on August 8 in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
A gang of 10 teenagers brutally attacked two men leaving them both severely injured in a horrific homophobic attack.
The gang, believed to be boys and girls aged between 16 and 17, attacked two men in an unprovoked encounter in a Waitrose car park in the early hours of last Sunday (August 8).
Two men, aged 22 and 25-year-old, were severely beaten in a ruthless gang up in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The hooded youths first hurled homophobic insults towards the pair before becoming physically violent.
The 22-year-old man was knocked unconscious in the car park and left with fractures across his cheek, eye socket and nose.
The older of the pair was also brutally injured with a split eyebrow and suffered cuts, bruising to his face as well as fractures to his jaw and hand.
Inspector Gary Bangs, from Hertfordshire police’s East Herts local crime unit, issued a statement condemning the suspected homophobic crime: “This despicable attack was completely unprovoked and left both men with serious injuries.
“They are being supported by specially trained hate crime officers at what is understandably a very difficult time.”
Inspector Bangs added: “Did you see a large group of people in the area around the time stated? Any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could greatly assist our enquiries.
“Hate crime can have a devastating impact on victims and the wider community as a whole and will simply not be tolerated.”