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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Gay man in hate crime accusation
Dave claims harassment started soon after he moved to Chatham
A gay man who claims he has repeatedly been a victim of hate crime has said he has lost confidence in the way Kent Police has handled his case.

"Dave", who does not want his real name known, moved to Chatham in 2002.

He said name calling and harassment led to physical assault in April this year, but police have not taken it seriously.

Det Chief Insp Andy Rabey said: "I am concerned he feels he has been badly treated by Kent Police. We take homophobic crime very seriously."

I am more angry with the police now than I am angry at the youths
Attack victim Dave

Dave moved to Kent from London because he felt anti-social crime was increasing.

But he said he had good links with police there and ran a neighbourhood watch scheme.

He claims harassment and verbal abuse from teenagers began soon after he moved and escalated to attacks, including graffiti, on his house and the assault.

"One kid hit me and the cut left a scar," he said. "It knocked me out for a minute and I was taken to hospital

"The police came round while I was in hospital and then followed it up, with a policeman coming round to take more details a couple of days later.

"Since then they haven't followed up any leads or come back to me with any information about who assaulted me."

Kent Police said many of the man's complaints, dating back to April 2004, were fully investigated and led to individuals being cautioned.

It said the abuse stopped as a result.

'Relatively common'

Gay rights organisation Stonewall said Dave's experience was not unusual in the UK.

"This is relatively common, particularly with low-level crime," said spokesman Alan Wardle.

"It is quite difficult for people to deal with, particularly when the police don't seem to be taking it as seriously as they should."

Dave said he was now more angry with the police than with the youths who attacked him.

Det Chief Insp Rabey said: "I have looked into this case and I do feel there are some issues that I need to address.

"We are keen to encourage the public to contact the police if they are affected by homophobic crime."

  • Police have a special number (0800 328 9162) for anyone wanting to report homophobic crime.

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