Northumbria Police are going to fly the rainbow flag to support the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
Over the weekend and next week, the rainbow flag will fly outside a number of police stations throughout Northumbria to show support to Lesbian Gay Bisexual &Transgender (LGB&T) staff and communities.
PC Amy Tapping, from Northumbria’s Gay Police Association, said: “Northumbria Police embraces diversity and part of flying the rainbow flag is to demonstrate our commitment to supporting events that celebrate our diverse communities.
“We are always keen to continue to build on our relations within the community by working with representatives from different groups to understand and respond to the needs of individuals.”
The force recently introduced LGB&T liaison officers to work with LGB&T communities to increase engagement, trust and confidence to encourage victims of homophobic and transphobic crimes to come forward.
PC Tapping added: “We know victims of a hate crime can feel apprehensive about reporting it to police and that homophobic and transphobic crimes are under-reported.
“We want to make sure we’re working with LGB&T communities to identify what the issues they face are and what can be done to overcome this so that people have the confidence and reassurance they need to come forward.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “I’m delighted the force is once again showing its support for IDAHOT.
“By supporting events like this, it sends out a clear message to our LGB&T communities that they can speak to police and that their concerns will always be taken seriously. The force is committed to tackling any form of hate crime and I will ensure that always remains the case.
“If someone from the LGB&T community has a problem or wants to make a suggestion about policing I would ask them to get in touch with their liaison officer.”
Northumbria Police LGB&T liaison officers, Newcastle City Council, MESMAC and Unison LGB&T group ran a consultation on what people should know about hate crime, and how to report it, yesterday night.
From 20:00 to 23:00 yesterday, the force outside events vehicle was parked on the corner of Scotswood Road (close to the Yard Bar), Newcastle, where people could go inside the vehicle to participate.
To find out who the LGB&T Liaison Officer is in your area visit the Northumbria Police website www.northumbria.police.uk.
Anyone who has been a victim of crime can get advice and support from Victims First Northumbria by calling 0800 011 3116 or visiting the website, www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk.