Hampshire Constabulary is showing its devotion to duty within diverse communities at a national event this weekend.
Two Hampshire officers are attending the LGB & T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Police Conference in Manchester on Friday (August 28, 2015).
The theme of the event is ‘devotion to duty’ and provides opportunities to discuss key challenges facing equality and inclusion within policing.
Hampshire Constabulary has been recognised consistently by Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB & T) charity, as one of the most ‘gay-friendly’ police forces in the country.
One of the Hampshire officers attending, PC Darryl Clarke said:
“Under-reporting of hate crime and incidents within LGB & T communities remains an issue we must address through ever increasing understanding and awareness.”
“Fairness, integrity and respect reinforces our commitment to give greater confidence to victims and witnesses of homophobic and transphobic abuse.”
“More contact and conversations with individuals affected by such abuse helps to ensure policing is providing the best possible service in some of the delicate cases officers can encounter.”
Understanding the reasons for under-reporting of hate crime
Police leadership, transgender inclusion, and dedication to the LGB&T community are all subjects for discussion during the conference.
PC Darryl Clarke said:
“Our visit to Manchester comes as Hampshire Constabulary is running its biggest survey ever about hate crime, domestic violence and sexual assault in LGB&T communities.”
“This is the constabulary’s biggest snapshot yet of how LGB&T communities are affected by these issues and the level of under-reporting.”
“It is known from our work with partner agencies that there is a significant under-reporting from the community around these issues, and the survey seeks to understand the reasons.”
“From some initial responses, it seems that some people do not know that they have been the victim of these incidents or do not come to realise until later on after the event, perhaps when a relationship has ended.”
Reporting hate crime and incidents
PC Darryl Clarke added:
“You can speak to any police officer or member of staff if you’ve been the victim of crime because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“However, if you want to speak to someone with a greater understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, you can always ask to speak with one of our Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (LAGLOs), all of whom have additional training, skills and experience regarding these issues.”
Hampshire officers are travelling to the conference in a recently launched police Ford Focus, which carries the existing artwork of Hampshire Constabulary’s established Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (LAGLO) officers.
The vehicle, supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), visits a wide range of events to raise awareness of how to report homophobic and transphobic hate crime incidents and other issues affecting LGB&T communities.
What are homophobic and transphobic crimes and incidents?
A homophobic or transphobic incident is any incident which is perceived to be homophobic or transphobic by the victim or anyone else.
They can include abusive or threatening language for example on the streets, in sports grounds, at work or in private.
You don’t have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to be the victim of a homophobic or transphobic crime: it’s how the crime is perceived by the victim or anyone else that determines the nature of the offence.
Speak to us in confidence
You can report information to us about hate crimes or incidents without having to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity.
You can always speak to the police in confidence or, if you prefer not to speak with us directly, you can always report it to a friend or someone else.
If you’re reporting a crime or providing information, we’ll do everything necessary to protect your identity. If you still wish to remain anonymous, we will respect your request.
Watch our LGB&T hate crime reporting film on YouTube
What are the police doing about homophobic and transphobic crime?
Hampshire Constabulary is committed to protecting the people we serve from those who cause them harm.
We want to reduce the fear of crime and make public places safe and free of homophobic and transphobic crimes.
We want to make sure the victim receives the support that’s right for them, that we as the police have an accurate picture of what’s happening, and to bring offenders to justice.
Hampshire LGB&T Resource Group
The Resource Group was established to support the force’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. It’s also the driving force behind the work Hampshire Constabulary does to engage with the LGB&T communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
All members of the Resource Group carry this workload in addition to their core role, which often finds them devoting their own time to this important area of policing