Training course helps Hertfordshire police officers support LGBT+ community
The course was aimed at LGBT+ Liaison Officers
Hertfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Police recently delivered a joint training course to help officers better support the needs of the LGBT+ community.
The course was aimed at LGBT+ Liaison Officers - these are police officers who are there to provide an extra layer of support to the community.
Part of their role is to advise and support fellow police officers in dealing with LGBT+ hate crimes and incidents and they also carry out engagement work with the local LGBT+ community,
attending events and getting to understand the issues they face.
Importantly, when a member of the public calls the police, they can specifically request the support of an LGBT+ Liaison Officer.
Taking place at Bedfordshire Police Headquarters, the course covered a range of topics including the current issues affecting the LGBT+ community such as increasing hate crimes, chemsex and trans rights.
There were 26 LGBT+ Liaison Officers at the course, guest speaker Clive Duffey from the Terrance Higgins Trust spoke about his work with the HIV charity.
They were also joined by a second guest speaker, PC Skye Morgan from West Midlands Police, who spoke about transitioning while working as a serving police officer and the current issues affecting the trans community.
The training was opened and closed by the constabularies’ Strategic Leads for LGBT+, Superintendent Clare Smith for Hertfordshire and Chief Superintendent Julie Henderson.
Hertfordshire’s Inspector Steve Alison is Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network and ran the training with Bedfordshire’s Detective Constable Marcus McNamara, the Chair of Bedfordshire’s network.
Inspector Alison said: “Our newly trained officers will now be out in their communities using their training to engage and develop relationships with our LGBT+ communities.
"This work is so important; nobody should be made to feel unsafe because of their sexuality or gender identity.
"We are committed to supporting all our diverse communities and I hope that news of this training session will be reassuring to the LGBT+ community.
"Please remember, we care and you can always approach us for support.”
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 hertsagainsthate.org.
How to contact an LGBT+ Liaison Officer
LGBT+ Liaison Officers can be reached by calling the non-emergency number 101 or 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. 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.