Cops want to trace this man as part of East End homophobic sticker investigation

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to identify as part of an investigation into a number of homophobic stickers which were plastered around the East End.

The stickers, found at various east London locations over the past two months, feature a rainbow flag with a red line through it with the message ‘gay free zone’ and sparked counter ‘love bombing’ campaigns by gay rights protesters around Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green.

British Transport Police have been reviewing their CCTV footage and want to trace a man after a sticker was found at Bow Church DLR station. It is believed to have been placed at the station around 4pm on February 12.

The stickers, which measure around 2ins by 4ins, have also been found around Poplar, Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Brick Lane.

Det Con Elaine Sexton, from BTP’s public protection unit, said: “We are working together with the Metropolitan Police, and have been conducting local enquiries across east London in a bid to identify those responsible for these stickers.

“These stickers are offensive and we are keen to identify the man in the images as we believe he has information which may assist the investigation.”

Campaign groups were divided on how to react to the posting of the homophobic stickers, which features the slogan ‘arise and warn and fear Allah. Verily Allah is severe in punishment’, and a protest march was due to be held through the East End.

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It was later abandoned after a gay Muslim group discovered one of its organisers had links with far right groups and it was feared the protest was being used to drive a wedge between the East End’s gay and Muslim communities.

Supt Mark Wolski, from Tower Hamlets police, said: “These stickers are divisive in nature and so we would encourage anyone with information to contact our colleagues at BTP to help identify the perpetrators.”

Police are urging anyone who recognises the man in the image or who has any information which may assist the investigation to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, quoting the reference B13/LUA of 29/03/2011, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.