Sam has been one of the force’s LBGT+ Liaison Officers for eight months and can be contacted by members of the public who have experienced a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic crime or incident for advice and support.
She said: “As a Hate Crime Officer I became very aware that hate crime is under-reported by members of the LGBT+ community. This is for a variety of reasons such as not believing that their report would be taken seriously or the fear of further reprisals from the people responsible. I became an LBGT+ Liaison Officer because I believed I could make a real difference and change this situation, and provide people with the support and confidence to challenge prejudice.
“Since I have been an LBGT+ Liaison Officer, I’ve enjoyed supporting my colleagues who have approached me for advice when investigating homophobic crimes. This led to the successful prosecution of a person responsible for on-going homophobic harassment.
“I think it is so important that the Constabulary has LBGT+ Liaison Officers because it shows it has a genuine desire to tackle and challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic crime, whilst ensuring offenders are prosecuted and victims are supported. LAGLOs have received specialised training and this means they are fully able to deal professionally and competently when complaints are received. I hope that it makes the LGBT+ community feel like they have an extra voice supporting them where necessary.
“No one from the LGBT+ community should feel anxious talking to police. If you are a victim of crime homophobic, biphobic and transphobic, we are here for you.”