In a distressing pattern of targeted violence, Clonezone, a gay adult store situated in Manchester, England, has fallen victim to its fifth attack this year. The most recent incident, occurring last Sunday, involved two masked assailants on a bicycle attempting to shatter the store’s windows. Fortunately, the installation of iron bars, a precaution taken after previous attacks, thwarted their efforts. Undeterred, the assailants entered the shop and hurled an object at the security equipment, resulting in approximately £3500 ($4300) worth of damage.
This alarming incident unfolded in broad daylight, around 2 p.m., while staff members were present, heightening the distress experienced by those at the store. Richard Tropez, the store’s general manager, expressed his deep concern, describing the ordeal as “absolutely terrifying.” He emphasized that Clonezone had become the sole target of these attacks, underscoring their specificity.
According to Chief Inspector Steve Wiggins, who issued a statement regarding the incidents, all five attacks shared a similar modus operandi: offenders arriving on bicycles and inflicting substantial damage. Wiggins stressed the urgent need to uncover the motives behind these assaults, enabling law enforcement to track down those responsible and ensure justice is served. He underscored, “This cannot continue,” and reassured that they were vigorously investigating the incidents while prioritizing the protection of the targeted business.
Crimestoppers has stepped in, offering a £2000 ($2500) reward for any information that aids in identifying and convicting those behind these relentless attacks. The repeated targeting of Clonezone raises concerns about the safety and security of LGBTQ+ spaces in the region and calls for a concerted effort to combat hate crimes and discrimination against the community in Manchester, England.