Officers give support at university’s Pride market
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Officers held a community engagement stall at the University of Hertfordshire’s Pride market yesterday (Wednesday 15 February).
The event formed part of the students’ union’s activity for LGBT+ History Month which runs throughout February to raise awareness around the struggles faced by the community – including hate crime.
Taking place on College Lane campus, the constabulary’s LGBT+ Network was invited along to host a stall so that they could educate students around hate crime and the support available to victims.
They were also joined by the force’s dedicated University Policing Team. These officers are responsible for patrolling the campuses and they attend and host many events throughout the year where students can report concerns or gain advice.
Chief Inspector Steve Alison, Co-Chair of the LGBT+ Network, said: “I would like to thank the students’ union for inviting us along. Our network has many aims, from helping LGBT+ colleagues within the force and advising officers dealing with hate crimes to of course, engaging with Hertfordshire’s LGBT+ community. Yesterday, we were able to speak with the students and explain what to do if they are the victim of a hate crime.
“We also explained the role of our LGBT+ Liaison officers who are specially trained to provide further support.
“Community engagement work like this is so important as we know that LGBT+ hate crimes are under-reported both nationally and here in Hertfordshire. Hopefully, we have reassured the students that if they ever do become a victim, we will do everything we can to help them and they will come forward to report it.”
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, online via our website 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 via our website. 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.