THE mother of tragic teenager Sophie Lancaster has called for an end to the culture of conflict surrounding youngsters who chose to be different.

Sylvia Lancaster said she had to campaign for peace - particularly an end to attacks on alternative groups such as goths, moshers and emos - "to make sense of a senseless act."

Her daughter was attacked and killed in August - and police believe the assault was because of her alternative style of dress.

The call comes after a row between a shop owner in Blackburn town centre and groups of youngsters he claimed had been intimidating his customers.

And on Saturday night, four 15-year-olds dressed in the "mosher" style - baggy jeans and heavy-metal band T-shirts - were chased and attacked by yobs armed with sticks and bottles in Holcombe Drive, Burnley.

Police said they had been targeted simply because of the way they looked.

Mrs Lancaster, whose campaign SOPHIE (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere) has received support from all over the world, said she wanted to spread the message of co-operation throughout both adults and young people.

And she called for greater understanding among adults.

Mrs Lancaster said: "I don't understand where on earth this culture has come from where some young people think it's OK to go out at the weekend and beat someone up.

"But that is a small minority - most of them are lovely people and they are the future."

Sophie, 20, of King street, Bacup and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were brutally beaten in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, on August 11.

Robert recovered from the attack, but Sophie died in hospital on August 24.

Five teenagers have since been charged with murder.

Mrs Lancaster said: "The campaign is about trying to get away from blaming people and getting the conversation going between different groups of young people and adults too.

"I want people to think twice about labelling people because of the way they dress or the music they listen to - adults are just as guilty of that as young people and it does create conflict.

"We have a long way to go but we have managed a lot already.

"I was amazed at the response in support of the teenagers in Blackburn, agreeing that they are just ordinary people.

"And I was delighted with how seriously the police and councillors in Burnley have taken the attacks there.

"I know some people might think this campaign is just idealism, but you have to start somewhere.

"Sophie would never have wanted me to be sitting at home grieving and not doing anything because that's not what I am and it's not what she was.

"She was a lovely, kind, caring girl.

"What happened to her was senseless but I have got to make sense of it by doing as much as I can to stop it happening again."

John Wilman, of Pavilion Interiors, sparked a huge response after complaining about the alternative-culture teenagers who gather near his shop, Pavilion Interiors, in Blackburn town centre.

He said he would be willing to meet with representatives of the youths.

He said: "I'm not against kids and I don't think they are all nasty people.

"I understand that they might not feel safe in the parks and that's why they gather in the centre, and I don't know how to get round that.

"The fact is that the town centre is not a playground, but it has been turned into one.

"These kids need somewhere to go where they do feel safe."

Memorial concerts for Sophie have been held all over the country, and campaigners are now investigating ways of bringing their message to schools, workplace, councils and communities.

To join the SOPHIE campaign, and find out about events in her memory, visit the campaign's website at the address below.