James left a gay nightclub with friends, when some teenage boys across the road shouted homophobic abuse at them. PC Parkes was kicked and punched, and suffered a fractured skull, eye socket and cheekbone. Police believe that up to twenty kids may have been involved in the attack.
According to the Channel 4 report, Merseyside Police have recorded a 41% increase in homophobic hate crimes this year (April'08/March'09) compared with the previous year.
A policy officer from Stonewall said that a significant proportion of LGB people feel the need to alter their behaviour - whether that's not holding their partner's hand in public or not going to gay venues etc - simply to avoid being the victim of a homophobic hate crime.
Pete Price, a DJ and stand up comedian said he'd been attacked because of his sexuality. He said he'd always had to live with homophobia.
Jon Snow then interviewed Brian Paddick, and began by saying:-
The shocking thing about this particular incident is the youthfulness of the attackers, and people are saying that in their teens these kind of offenders are commonplace.
Brian Paddick said that what we're seeing is a resurgence of homophobia amongst young people.
Jon Snow: Where is that coming from? I mean who is influencing it?
Brian Paddick: 'Gay' is now used as a derogatory term by teenagers. It's used by certain Radio 1 DJs, and generally I think whether it's Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time and making homophobic remarks - across the board I think people are being encouraged to be homophobic.