Boys as young as 11 years old were responsible for the homophobic graffiti. (Envato Elements)
Children as young as 11 were among those responsible for “graphic and homophobic” graffiti in Hampshire, local police have said.
The graffiti was discovered at the New Milton Recreation Ground. Within days, local law enforcement authorities had discovered that the assailants were a group of young boys.
Officers launched an investigation once the homophobic graffiti was discovered and it was soon established that the cruel words were specifically targeting a 12-year-old boy from the locality.
Police were able to identify all of those behind the graffiti, telling the Daily Echo that the boys were between the ages of 11 and 13.
The council and the local school assisted officers in their investigation, it has been reported.
A Hampshire Police spokesperson said that all of the young people involved had been “identified” and “spoken to”, adding that they are “receiving community resolutions”.
Boys responsible for homophobic graffiti will carry out ‘reparative work’
“All those involved will now be required to complete some reparative work and education within school around hate crime,” the spokesperson said.
“The graffiti is in the process of being removed to make sure further offence is not caused.”
The spokesperson went on to say that they will not tolerate hate crime, adding that the fact the cruel words were written by “such young individuals” was “concerning”.
“It is about educating them so they do not take these views into adulthood,” the police spokesperson said.
“My team will always work with our partners to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) regardless of motivation.”
The officer added that anti-social behaviour has a significant impact on local communities, and said law enforcement authorities will continue to work to eradicate such behaviours.
The incident comes just days after Pride Month came to a close. Each year, the global LGBT+ community uses the month of June to draw attention to their fight for equality.
Hate crime remains a serious issue across the world, and the UK is no exception. In recent weeks, at least four homophobic attacks have occurred in Liverpool, leaving the local queer community terrified.
Police data shows that homophobic and transphobic hate crimes doubled in England and Wales between 2014 and 2018.