Police Inspector shares his support at University of Hertfordshire LGBT+ event
LGBT History Month is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements
A Hertfordshire Constabulary Inspector has shared his experiences of striving for equality as part of an event to mark LGBT+ History Month, hosted by the University of Hertfordshire.
Inspector Steve Alison is the Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network, a support group that works with the local LGBT+ community and advises colleagues internally on matters both personal and operational.
On Friday, February 26, Inspector Alison took part in a thought-provoking virtual panel discussion titled ‘Engaging the LGBT+ community in public service leadership: experiences from Local Government and the Police’.
Chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Matthew Weait, the event began with Carl Austin-Behan OBE DL, the first openly homosexual Lord Mayor of Manchester and now an advocate for inclusion and equality.
Joining Inspector Alison and Carl in the panel discussion was Temporary Commander Clinton Blackburn from City of London Police, who co-chairs the National Police LGBT+ Network.
Inspector Alison, who is based with the St Albans Intervention Team (responding to emergency 999 calls), has long played an active role in helping to ensure that the constabulary advocates LGBT+ rights.
Three years ago marked a significant milestone as the LGBT+ network successfully campaigned for a gender-neutral uniform option, making the constabulary one of the first to offer such a choice.
Inspector Alison said: “Historically, the LGBT+ community has suffered huge discrimination and although significant progress has been made, we do still receive reports of crimes where the victims have been targeted because of their sexuality or gender identity.
“As the police, we are responsible for helping to prevent hate crimes and we have a duty to make sure that all communities feel safe and valued.
"I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in the discussion and ask questions.
"The constabulary remains committed to supporting the county’s LGBT+ community and listening to your views and thoughts is pivotal in making the right progress.”
A recording of the event can be viewed on the University of Hertfordshire YouTube channel.
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 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 go to 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. 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. Police will treat what you tell themus 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.