TWO women were the victims of alleged homophobic abuse after they were targeted by a gang of youths outside a corner shop in Crosby.
Merseyside Police say they are investigating the incident as a hate crime after the teenage boys, aged between 13-16, shouted homophobic insults at them.
This was after they had thrown a plastic bottle at their vehicle as they drove past a newsagents on Liverpool Road.
There were separate reports made to police about the same group who were involved in “other altercations and anti-social behaviour” in the same area of Crosby.
The hate crime happened at around 7.45pm on Wednesday, October 5 and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Inspector Matthew Kerr said: “It is completely and utterly unacceptable for anyone to be subject to verbal or physical abuse simply because of their gender identity or sexual orientation and we simply will not tolerate people being targeted in this way.
“Our enquiries are ongoing into the reports of anti-social behaviour in the area and this hate crime incident.
“If you were in the area at the time and may have witnessed the incident or have any information about other altercations, we would like to hear from you.
“We have a dedicated team of hate crime co-ordinators who will be visiting schools across Sefton as part of Hate Crime Awareness week (9-16 October) and to make sure anyone who comes forward will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible.
“Furthermore, across Merseyside, there are a number of third-party reporting centres available to anyone who doesn’t want to call the police in the first instance including the charity Stop Hate UK who can be contacted on 0800 138 1625.
“Whether you let us know directly or anonymously, through Crimestoppers, please get in touch and we can take action.”
Anyone with information about this hate crime or other incidents in this area is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 21000692468.