Wales

Boy, 13, held over homophobic attack on LGBT club member

Gisda centre

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with attacks on members of a LGBT youth club, police have revealed.

The club in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, was temporarily suspended after one person was assaulted at a nearby bus stop after leaving Caffe Gisda in July.

It left some members of the club not wanting to return.

At a meeting on Wednesday to discuss other cases where people have been verbally abused, police confirmed an arrest had been made.

They said the boy was "still in the system".

Aled Griffiths, the club's founder, said organisers needed to show a strong signal that action was needed.

"These were serious incidents," he said. "One of our young people ended up in hospital.

"What we need to do is to stand up for equality, not to hide not to retreat.

"I work in mental health services and I've seen how this club has helped bring down the number of LGBT+ young people coming through the service.

"It provides somewhere they can feel supported and not judged."

More than 150 people have been using the club since it launched in November 2017 which aims to help people increase their self-confidence and be able to interact with the community.

It is the only one of its type in the county and has attracted members from further afield.

Mr Griffiths said problems started about a year ago and until the attack members had been subjected to verbal abuse from people outside.

Sgt Non Edwards from North Wales Police told the meeting: "We'll continue to work to deal with problems, but we need people to work with us in partnership.

"We don't have any more police officers, so education is the key as well."

The meeting comes at the same time as figures suggest a fall in the number of people being prosecuted for homophobic hate crimes despite a rise in reports to the police.

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