London LGBTQ+ community wants to live ‘free from fear’ after ‘homophobic murder’ in cemetery

A leading charity has said that the LGBTQ+ community should be able to “live their lives free from fear” after a suspected homophobic murder in Tower Hamlets Cemetery in August.

Ranjith Kankanamalage, 50, known as ‘Roy’, was violently attacked and killed in Tower Hamlets cemetery on August 16.

He was found around 6am with fatal head injuries caused by blunt force trauma. Police detectives are treating the murder as a homophobic hate crime.

On October 12, Met Police offered a £20,000 reward for anyone who can provide key information to help track down suspects.

The Met have also released two photos of men they believe could be witnesses from the time of the attack, and urged them to come forward.

Officers are appealing for two possible witnesses, who were in the area at the time, to come forward

Members of the London LGBTQ+ community have urged the Met to do more to tackle violence and abuse targeted at gay men and other members of the community.

Eloise Stonborough, associate director of policy and research at Stonewall said the “horrific” killing was heart-breaking.

They added: “All LGBTQ+ people deserve to live our lives free from fear. From ensuring that LGBTQ+ hate crimes are properly recorded and prosecuted within the criminal justice system, to training police forces – including the Metropolitan Police – to better understand LGBTQ+ hate crime and support LGBTQ+ victims and survivors.

“It’s vital that we all do more to tackle violence and hate directed at LGBTQ+ people.”

Lukas Konieczka, executive director of LGBT+ young people’s charity Mosaic, said the Met needed to build a relationship with the LGBTQ+ community.

He said: “At the end of the day it’s the Met’s responsibility to look after the community.”

He added that cuts to the police force had “severely impacted” the Met’s ability to build its relationship with the community.

He said: “The Met needs to build a positive relationship… making sure the community feels supported.

“There needs to be a dedicated resource to tackle this problem. It’s making sure that they are listening to the community, but they are not listening to the community.”

The Met was contacted for comment.

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