Thursday, August 21, 2008

Homophobic hate crime - Michael Causer

I had hoped to post this entry earlier and for that I apologise.

Readers will be aware now of the terrible tragedy of the murder of Michael Causer, a young gay man of only 18 who was beaten to death in Huyton on July 25th.

A book of remembrance has been opened by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Two Huyton teenagers have been charged with his murder.

Ongoing Liverpool Echo stories about Michael can be linked to from here

What I wanted to share with you was the letter that was circulated by Merseyside Police on 6th August 2008 who wish to provide at least some reassurance to the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community and to other concerned individuals.

It reads as follows;

Dear Community Member

Merseyside Police has previously reported that the Force is investigating the attack on Michael Causer, who is from the Whiston area of Merseyside. Tragically, Michael died whilst in hospital on Saturday 2 August 2008. This incident is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

Three men from the Huyton area have been charged in connection with this attack. They appeared before Knowsley Magistrates Court where they were released on conditional bail and will re-appear before Liverpool Crown Court on the 12 August 2008. A fourth man arrested in connection with the attack has been released on police bail while further enquiries are made.

No other people are being sought in connection with this enquiry.

The investigation and prosecution is obviously ongoing and as a result it would be wholly inappropriate to disclose too much detail surrounding the case at this stage. More importantly to do so, is likely to jeopardise the prosecution of these offenders.

However, in an effort to reduce speculation and rumour, I can say that Michael and those charged with the offences against him and those currently on bail were known to each other and had been together in a house in Biglands Drive, Huyton during the course of Thursday evening and Friday morning. The initial assault upon Michael took place within this house.

The incident was reported to police and ambulance at 11am on Friday 25 July 2008 when Michael was admitted to Whiston Hospital with serious head injuries.

Contrary to speculation, I can confirm that this was not a random attack of a young gay man walking in Knowsley. Merseyside Police takes Hate Crime, whether verbal or physical, seriously and will actively investigate all reports. If you want to report any Hate Crime you can speak with our dedicated SIGMA Hate Crime Investigation Team on 0151 709 6010, in an emergency, however please dial 999.
Alternatively you can call Stop Hate UK 24hour Help Line on 0800 138 1625 or the Knowsley Hate Crime Hotline on 0800 953 4433.

Merseyside Police would ask anyone with any information regarding this investigation to contact them on 0151 777 6564, alternatively if you want to speak to an officer from the Police Gay Support Network contact them on 077646 21430 (or email, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Merseyside Police proactively investigates Hate crime in all its forms. Detectives from the Sigma Hate Crime Investigation Team have worked with detectives involved in this investigation. Close consultation has taken place with our internal and external support network for Gay and Lesbian Police Officers and staff.

Sigma staff hold ‘drop in surgeries’ within community venues to actively encourage the reporting of Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents. Furthermore, Merseyside Police, is marching at this year’s Manchester Gay Pride on August 23 for the fourth year running. Amongst those representing the Force at the event this year are staff from the Police Federation, Sigma Hate Crime Investigation Teams, Senior Officer’s, Black Police Association, Merseyside Police Authority and our Disability Support Network.

As part of our ongoing commitment to Hate Crime we support annual International Day Against Homophobia by illuminating Police Headquarters in rainbow lighting and flying our Rainbow Flag.

In 2006 Liverpool City Council commissioned the Stormbreak report, which highlighted the positive work undertaken by specialist officers when investigating offences such as Hate Crime and Domestic Violence.

Merseyside Police is a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

The Armistead Project, the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Support Service is also available to provide support to anyone affected by this incident or who wishes to pass on relevant information for the enquiry on 0870 990 8996 or 0151 227 1893.

Yours faithfully,

John Young
Area Commander

1 comment:

scouseboy said...

Hate crime in all its forms are despicable. One area that is often overlooked is disability hate crime. My son, who has moderate learning difficulties, occasionally suffers from this, just because he is seen as "different" or an "oddbod."
Myself and my son confront and deal with these issues, but I thought I would make readers aware of an issue what is often forgotten and is easily overlooked.