LONDON (AP) -- If you punch a punk in Manchester, it could be a hate crime.
Police in the English city say they will begin recording offenses against members of alternative subcultures in the same way they do attacks based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
The Greater Manchester force -- the first in Britain to take the step -- says "Goths, emos, punks and metallers" and members of other alternative groups often endured abuse.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said Wednesday that "people who wish to express their alternative sub-culture identity freely should not have to tolerate hate crime."
The decision follows campaigning by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, set up in memory of a 20-year-old who was fatally attacked in a park because of her Goth appearance.
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