A group of LGBTI teens were subjected to homophobia, Police Scotland detained and charged four teenagers with hate crime.
According to The Herald, the teens were attending a support group at Boghall Parish Church in Bathgate, West Lothian on Thursday last week.
According to Police Scotland a number of teenagers started subjecting the group to homophobic abuse when they attended the meeting.
Following “robust inquiries within the local area”, Police Scotland detained one boy aged 13 and two aged 14 on Sunday and they were subsequently charged.
A fourth male aged 15 was traced and charged on Monday.
All four have been charged with hate crimes and referred to the Children’s Reporter.
Sergeant John Fleming, who is based at Bathgate Police Station, said: “Hate crime in any form will not be tolerated within West Lothian and whenever such incidents occur we will investigate them thoroughly to identify those responsible
The homophobic incident occurred just over a week after hundreds attended West Lothian Pride.
A research in hate crime against youth by LGBT Youth Scotland in 2012 revealed that over 69% of teens experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying in school, and over 76% transgender students experienced bullying in school.
Commenting on the case, Stuart Russell, LGBTI rights campaigner and KaleidoScot Contributor, said: “Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia area a big problem for LGBTI Scottish youth. Adequate LGBTI education is not being provided in schools directly affecting a generation in a negative way. This story is positive in showing that police are serious about talking hate incidents and this is a positive step.”