THE murder of Stuart Walker should be regarded as homophobic, according to the Gay Police Association
Mr Walker was found dead with “horrible” injuries near an industrial estate in Cumnock on Saturday 22 October. He had been beaten and burned. Police arrested an 18-year-old man on Thursday evening in connection with the case.
While the association welcomed the speed of the enquiry, they said they were “baffled” that the case was not being treated as homophobic.
They say official police guideline show the case should be handled as a hate crime.
They also attacked the chief constable of Strathclyde police for his comments in a Scottish newspaper.
In an article published in The Herald on Friday (28th October), Stephen House, said there was ‘no definite reason for [classify the murder as a hate crime]”.
A spokesman for the Gay Police Association said: “A number GPA members (also police officers) have contacted the GPA expressing shock and horror at the murder of Stuart Walker. They obviously also offer their condolences to the victims family, friends and people of Cumnock.
“More intensely however they express amazement at the lack of professional judgement at this stage by Mr House.”
The group claim guidelines for the Association on Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) state: “If a crime is perceived to be a hate crime by the victim or any other person, including a police officer, it should be recorded and investigated as such”.
A spokesman continued: “Following the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and the subsequent report by Sir William MacPherson, one of the key recommendations was a change in the definition of what constitutes a racist incident and crime which now extends to include homophobia and other hate criteria.”