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

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Supporting the LGBT+ community

Hertfordshire Police flew its rainbow flag at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) (May 17).

Supporting the LGBT+ community, including both the public and police colleagues, is key to the Constabulary and IDAHOBIT is an important event in the Force’s calendar.

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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.

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls and Inspector SteveChief Superintendent Matt Nicholls and Inspector Steve
Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls and Inspector Steve

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

Head of Public Contact Matt Nicholls, who is the Constabulary’s Strategic Lead for Sexual Orientation Gender Identity, said: “This year’s theme for IDAHOBIT is ‘Breaking the Silence’.

"In the past, we’ve celebrated IDAHOBIT by inviting the local LGBT+ community to come in and share their thoughts and views on our efforts to tackle LGBT+ hate crime.

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"Sadly, we can’t do that this year due to COVID-19 but I want to reassure you all that we are still here and still listening.

"Please be assured that we will not let you suffer in silence.

“Nobody should face discrimination because of their gender or sexuality and we will continue tackling such prejudice both internally and externally.

“The Constabulary has dedicated LGBT+ Liaison Officers who are specially trained to help the LGBT+ community.

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"If you want to speak to an LGBT+ Liaison Officer for non-urgent advice, call the non- emergency number 101 or contact us online at herts.police.uk/contact and ask to leave a message

for them to contact you.

"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.

“Remember, being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is.

"We are here to support you and you will always be taken seriously.”

Reporting hate crime

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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 by calling 101, online or 999 if a crime is on-going.

Victims can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity. However if people do not feel comfortable speaking directly to police, hate crime can also be reported online through the True Vision website.

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