Police officer left with broken ribs after suspected homophobic attack in Birmingham Gay Village

·2-min read

A Birmingham police officer is recovering after being injured in an alleged homophobic assault.

The officer was responding to reports of a fight on Hurst Street, in Birmingham’s Gay Village, when she was hurt at around 8pm on New Year’s Eve (31 December, 2021).

A 31-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of attacking a key worker and is suspected of a hate-related public order offence, as she allegedly targeted the injured officer with homophobic abuse.

She has been released under investigation as police inquiries continue.

The force has said that it is supporting the officer through her recovery period.

“An attack on a police officer is unacceptable whatever the circumstances,” a spokesperson said. “Our staff work tirelessly to protect the public and help those in their time of need.”

The attack comes amid a wider trend of anti-LGBT+ attacks in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

After a number of violent incidents, local leaders have proposed increased police patrols and a £200,000 funding injection to support victims of hate crime, as well as the possibility of a 24 hour public transport service.

The plans were announced by West Midlands mayor Andy Street, Birmingham Council leader Ian Ward and the West Midlands crime commissioner Simon Foster.

They were prompted to take action after a man was beaten with both a wine bottle and an iron bar, apparently because he had been holding another man’s hand in the street.

John-Paul Kesseler was left with blood pouring down his face, though his injuries were not life-threatening. It was just the latest in a series of hate attacks, including one against a gay couple who were beaten with glass bottles in the Gay Village, and an assault on a trans woman, who was stabbed on her own doorstep.

Street, Ward and Foster said while announcing their proposals: “The recent abhorrent, vicious homophobic attacks in Birmingham disgust the three of us in equal measure.

“For someone to be assaulted because of who they are or who they love is simply not acceptable. But hate will not win and our message to the homophobes is that they do not represent Birmingham and they never will. Everyone has a right to feel safe on our streets, no matter where they are, day or night.”

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