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Metro Welcomes Hatred Convictions

23rd January 2012

Metro has welcomed the country's first convictions for stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation under new criminal laws. In a case heard at Derby County Court three men have been convicted for distributing threatening leaflets calling for the execution of homosexuals.

The charity has a long history of working with victims of hate crime and has recently launched a Hate Crime Support Service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across South London providing counselling and peer mentoring. Metro is also convening a community action group to work with the LGBT community to look at hate crime prevention strategies.

Marguerite McLaughlin, Metro Chief Executive said:
'This case sends out a clear and essential message that hateful propaganda targeted at lesbians and gay men is illegal and that criminal law will come down on those who seek to perpetrate it. Through our work with many victims of hate crime we know what impact these sorts of materials can have on people's personal safety and how the kind of hatred that leads to violence can be enflamed. These convictions demonstrate a commitment within the criminal justice system to tackle homophobic hatred on all levels which will serve to help us all feel safer. Metro urges vigilance toward all types of hate crime - in word or deed, and we encourage people to come forward to community organisations or the police to report such crimes."

For all media queries:
Patricia Durr, Head of Communications & PR, 020 8305 5000 x136, 07912515397

Notes to Editors:
1. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 extended the criminal offences of incitement to hatred on the grounds of race and religion to sexual orientation
2. Metro's LGBT Hate Crime Support Service is funded through the Ministry of Justice's Victim and Witness General Fund and supports victims of LGBT hate crime throughout South London. It is also funded by LB Lewisham for its services to Lewisham residents.
3. Metro promotes equality and provides health, community and youth services across London and Kent. It has been providing services in Greenwich since 1983 and now also has sites in Vauxhall and Woolwich working across a number of London boroughs and in Kent and Medway.



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