Greater Manchester Police Protects Goths

The Greater Manchester Police Authority has announced that it will extend its hate crime legislation to protect subcultural  group members such as goths, emos and punks.
The decision follows extensive work with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation after the eponymous young Goth was beaten, kicked and stamped to death by Ryan Herbert and Brendan Harris while trying to protect her boyfriend from a group of youths who were beating him up in a park in Bacup, Lancashire. Her boyfriend survived the attack but Sophie died from her head injuries.
What the decision means is that a crime against a subcultural group member can be reported by a third party (a hate crime is a hate crime if anyone who was there when it took place perceives it to be) and it provides a range of initiatives to the police to be more pro-active, including assessing the impact of the crime on the wider community and working to reduce levels of fear and hostility directed towards the affected group or groups.
However the decision is a local one  made by Greater Manchester Police alone. This means it will have no impact on the judiciary. Judges will not therefore be empowered to increase a sentence handed down to a convicted defendant if hatred of a subcultural group is proven to be a motive.
For the record, Brendan Harris, 15, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended limit of eighteen years. Ryan Herbert, 16, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 15 and a half years because he pleaded guilty, whereas Harris maintained he did not murder Sophie, who was 20. This means her killers were school pupils when they carried out the attack. Several others were convicted for their part in the attack.
When sentencing, the judge in the case expressed that, in his view, it was a hate crime.