Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with homophobic abuse outside an LGBT+ meeting in Bathgate.

The incident took place at a youth group meeting at Boghall Parish Church in the town on Thursday 4th August while a film crew were making a documentary on homophobia and bullying of young people, commissioned by Pink Saltire.

The young people in attendance – who had met with the film crew to discuss their experience of growing up facing abuse and bullying at school – were confronted by the perpetrators and subjected to a torrent of homophobic insults.

Four males, aged between 13 and 15, were detained on Sunday 7th August and subsequently charged.

Sergeant John Fleming from 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 documentary is charting the progress of the TIE campaign, which aims to introduce teacher training on LGBT+ issues and support to tackle bullying in Scotland’s schools.

A TIE spokesperson said:

“While we are appalled at this incident. unfortunately we are not surprised. We hear reports from young people who face abuse like this on a regular basis. This further emphasises the fact that a new approach to dealing with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes amongst young people is required urgently.”

The four males will be reported to the Scottish Children’s Reporter.


By: Stuart Duffy

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