Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Five-day forecast

Police treat anti-gay posters as ‘hate crime’ as two more found in Bow

Police are investigating the homophobic posters Police are investigating the homophobic posters

Thursday, December 5, 2013
1:47 PM

Police are treating anti-gay posters targeting a former councillor as a “hate crime” as two more posters appeared near his home this morning.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Last week the posters, which accused former Lib Dem councillor Nigel McCollum of paedophilia, were condemned by councillors as homophobic “smears” after they were discovered in Bow, but police said they were “open-minded” about the motive.

Tower Hamlets police confirmed today that they are now treating the poster campaign as a hate crime after further enquiries.

Mr McCollum, who is gay and in a long term relationship, spoke at a full council meeting the night before the posters started about £1.6million spent on developments in Roman Road.

He was called by a police officer at 8.30 today and told that two new posters have been found.

The posters feature a recent photograph of the former Bow East councillor and listed his contact details.

Mr McCollum, in his first public comment on the posters, said: “I’m really upset about the whole thing.

“This abuse has not reared its head for seven years, and then when I go to council to represent a disabled resident, within hours this happens.”

Mr McCollum was a councillor from 2002 to 2006 and received hate mail making similar accusations, which were referred to the police.

This abuse influenced his decision not to stand for re-election in 2006, and the harassment stopped when his plans were announced.

Lib Dem councillor Dr Stephanie Eaton said: “To post anonymous homophobic attacks about a resident and former councillor simply because he has raised legitimate questions about public spending is cowardly and unacceptable.

“It is an attack on all people involved in local politics, and one which has the potential to deter LGBT people from public service.”

Anyone with information should call the Community Safety Unit at Limehouse Police Station on 020 7275 4758 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

Share this article

0 comments

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Hackney Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hackney businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Hackney Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »