Teenage girls beaten and robbed in 'homophobic' attack

Two men have been arrested in connection with a stabbing that took place in Hitchin's Market Place.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a stabbing that took place in Hitchin's Market Place. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Two teenage girls were attacked and robbed in Hitchin, in what is believed to be a homophobic hate incident.

At about 7.45pm on Friday, the victims - who are aged 17 and 19 years old - were approached by a group of up to five suspects who verbally abused them in Market Place before attacking them. The victims were kicked and punched and had their phones and purses taken.

Both girls were taken to hospital for treatment but have since been released.

The suspects are described as white teenagers. One had curly brown hair and was wearing black basketball shorts and a white T-shirt. Two of the others were wearing black hooded tops and black shorts.

Det Con Rebecca Robinson said: “This was an unprovoked homophobic attack which left the victims needing hospital treatment.

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“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.”

Anyone with information about the incident can report information online at https://orlo.uk/K9i0X, speak to an operator in the force communications room via the online web chat at https://orlo.uk/NcHvG or call  101, quoting crime reference 41/62451/21.

Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via the untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

The Herts force is determined to ensure that LGBT+ communities feels comfortable to approach the force should they ever need to and build confidence within them that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.

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As part of this, the constabulary has LGBT+ Liaison Officers who are based all over the county and have been specially trained to support people from LGBT+ communities. More information is available here.

Hertfordshire Constabulary will always handle reports of hate crimes sensitively and victims can access support through the force’s specially trained hate crime officers or via the Hertfordshire Victim Care Centre Beacon.

Victims do not have to contact police directly to report a crime. They can report at a number of third-party reporting centres in Hertfordshire or online at report-it.org.uk. More information about hate crime and third-party reporting centres can be found at hertsagainsthate.org.

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