Hertfordshire Police fly rainbow flag for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is now celebrated in more than 130 countries every year on May 17.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:22 pm

The rainbow flag is flying high at Hatfield Police Station today (Monday, May 17) as Hertfordshire Police joins together with local partners to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

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.

IDAHOBIT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries every year on May 17.

(L to R) Inspector Steve Alison (Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network), Sergeant Gary Cranfield (Vice Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network), Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen.

Officers came together this afternoon for a socially distanced event which paid respect to those who have been targeted because of their sexuality or gender identity and celebrated the progress that is being made to tackle hate crime.

The event was organised by the Herts Police LGBT+ Network, a support group that provides advice to staff and officers on all LGBT+ issues – whether personal or operational.

They were joined by Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen and partners from Hertfordshire County Council, as well as representatives from the Terrance Higgins Trust – a HIV and sexual health charity.

The event was led by Chief Constable Charlie Hall who spoke of the importance of the police working together with local partners to support the LGBT+ community.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary is dedicated to supporting the LGBT+ community all year round and IDAHOBIT provides a key opportunity for us to reflect on what we as a police force can do to help keep the LGBT+ community safe.

"Working with our local partners is key to this and it was a pleasure to be joined by them today.

“Being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the LGBT+ community that they should never hesitate to report homophobic, transphobic or biphobic hate crime.

"We have a wide range of support available to you, including specially trained LGBT+ Liaison Officers, and you will always be treated with the respect you deserve.”

Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen said: “I was proud to represent Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service at the flag raising event to mark IDAHOBIT at Hatfield Police Station today.

"We will continue to make a stand with the LGBTQ+ community against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.”

Reporting hate crime

Hertfordshire has more than 50 newly-trained hate crime champions ready to support people who have been targeted just for being who they are.

Representatives from district and borough councils, housing associations, charities and community groups joined two online training sessions run by Hertfordshire Constabulary last month.

As hate crime champions in their organisation they can now help to raise awareness of hate crime, support individuals who have been a victim and encourage them to report it to police or via a third-party organisation.

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 or 999 if a crime is on-going.

Victims can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.

For more information about hate crime, including how to report it and where to get support, visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hertsagainsthate.

How to contact an LGBT+ Liaison Officer

LGBT+ Liaison Officers can be reached by calling the non-emergency number 101 or by contacting Hertfordshire Police 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, and the they will treat what you tell them 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.