Four teens have been charged following the incident at an LGBT+ youth group
Four teenagers have been charged after homophobically abusing those attending an LGBT+ youth group at a church in Bathgate.
The youth group members were being filmed for a Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) documentary examining young people’s experiences of growing up LGBT+, when they were targeted.
Police Scotland said a number of teenagers confronted the young filmmakers during the incident which took place on 4 August at Boghall Parish Church.
Three males aged 13,14 and 14 were subsequently charged on 7 August and a fourth male, aged 15, was charged the following day.
They will all now be reported to the Children’s Reporter.
A TIE spokesperson said the LGBT+ group were sharing their stories of being bullied at school when they were confronted.
“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," he added.
“This further emphasises the fact that a new approach to dealing with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes amongst young people is required urgently.”
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.
"If you have been a victim of a hate crime then please contact us on 101, make an anonymous report to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the Police Scotland website to learn more about our third-party reporting mechanism."