Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to issue a message of support to the LGBT+ community as International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is marked today (Tuesday 17 May).
IDAHOBIT was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBT+ community worldwide. It is now celebrated in more than 130 countries every year on 17 May.
Local Policing Command Superintendent Clare Smith, who is the constabulary’s Strategic Lead for LGBT+, said: “As IDAHOBIT is marked today, I would like to take this moment to publicly reaffirm our commitment to supporting the LGBT+ community.
“We are proud of our strong links with local LGBT+ community groups and our officers regularly attend meetings with the community to understand and address the issues affecting them. Our dedicated LGBT+ Network plays a key role in this. They are a support network who not only provide support to our LGBT+ colleagues but engage with local LGBT+ groups to ensure their voice is being heard by the police. A campaign we’re particularly proud of is our Homophobia in Football survey which we launched in 2018 in collaboration with the FA, leading to numerous clubs across the county pledging to take a stand against homophobia. Yesterday’s news in the footballing world is a poignant reminder that society is becoming more open and inclusive, but we know there’s still work to do.
“We are committed to tackling hate crime and we recognise that these crimes have a severe impact on not just the victim but also on the wider community. If you are the victim of a hate crime, please be assured that we will do everything we can to support you and get you justice. The courts can actually impose more severe sentences for people who have committed hate crime so please don’t hesitate to report it to us. We have dedicated LGBT+ Liaison Officers who are specially trained to help the LGBT+ community and can give you extra support if you so choose.
“If you would ever like to speak to an LGBT+ Liaison Officer for non-urgent advice, you can do so by simply calling the non-emergency number 101 and asking to leave a message. One of them will get back to you shortly, and everything you say will be dealt with sensitively and with respect.
“Remember, being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is. We are here for you and we will continue doing everything we can to make Hertfordshire a safer place for the LGBT+ community.”
Reporting hate crime
Hate crimes are crimes like any other, but that have the added distinction that the victim was targeted because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Victims and witnesses can report incidents to police without fear via the non-emergency number 101, report online or 999 if a crime is on-going. Victims can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.
LGBT+ Liaison Officers can be reached by calling the non-emergency number 101 or by contacting us online. In an emergency or if a crime is on-going, report it immediately via 999. The support of an LGBT+ Officer can then be requested if required. We will treat what you tell us sensitively and in confidence.
To contact an LGBT+ Officer in your local area for non-urgent advice ring 101 and ask to leave a message for them to contact you.