In one of the best news articles we’ve read this year, police in the British city of Manchester have announced that attacks on “Goths, emos, punks and metallers” will be treated as hate crimes. “People who wish to express their alternative sub-culture identity freely should not have to tolerate hate crime,” Assistant Chief Constable Barry Shewan said. The article goes on to describe what these people look like, in case you’re not aware: “Members of these groups – often teenagers – are easily identifiable by their distinctive clothing, hairstyle and accessories, from Goths’ pale makeup and black garb to punks’ spiky hair and piercings.”

The article also interviewed a metalhead, or as he described himself, “Metalhead – or a dude that likes good music.” Jay White compared metalheads to religious minorities that face discrimination, saying some are looked down on for having long hair and wearing Slayer t-shirts. While the police decision to make assaulting subcultures a hate crime sounds a little ridiculous, it has a serious precedent. The ruling came after campaigning by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity set up in the memory of a 20-year old that was fatally attacked in a park near the city in 2007 because of her goth appearance.

[via The Toronto Star]