Herts police celebrate LGBT+ History Month

PUBLISHED: 07:02 26 February 2020

The team at Monday�s event. Centre is PC Teresa Holden and to the right, is PC Sandra Smith and Inspector Steve Alison. Picture: Herts Police

The team at Monday�s event. Centre is PC Teresa Holden and to the right, is PC Sandra Smith and Inspector Steve Alison. Picture: Herts Police

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LGBT+ History Month has been celebrated by Officers from Herts police by meeting with the local community and raising money for a local HIV support provider.

PC Sandra Smith, Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls (Local Policing Commander and the Constabulary’s Strategic Lead for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) and Inspector Steve Alison. Picture: Herts PolicePC Sandra Smith, Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls (Local Policing Commander and the Constabulary’s Strategic Lead for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) and Inspector Steve Alison. Picture: Herts Police

Last Monday, February 17, officers attended a local event in St Albans, organised by YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People.

The event was an opportunity for the local LGBT+ community to come together and reflect on their history - celebrating improvements to equality but also sharing stories of previous and ongoing battles for acceptance.

The event took place at the Trestle Arts Base and was attended by members of the Constabulary's LGBT+ Network - a support group that helps officers and staff on all LGBT+ matters, whether personal or operational.

On February 19, the police's LGBT+ Network held an information stall at Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

The aim of the stall was to highlight the many ways that the support group can offer help to officers and staff, both operationally and personally.

A variety of rainbow coloured cakes were also on offer, with proceeds going to the Terrance Higgins Trust, the county's HIV support provider.

Over £100 was raised for the charity, as the Network gave advice to officers and staff around how they can best help the local LGBT+ community.

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Inspector Steve Alison, chair of Herts police's LGBT+ Network said: "LGBT+ History Month is an important date in the Constabulary's calendar and Monday's event was very inspiring.

"I'm very happy with the amount of money we have raised for the Terrance Higgins Trust, which is a really important cause.

"Being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is.

"We do all we can to tackle homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and anyone who does become a victim or witness of this should never hesitate to get in touch and report it.

"As well as our hate crime officers, we have LGBT+ Liaison Officers who can also offer you extra support. When you report a crime, all you have to do is ask to speak to an LGBT+ Officer and this will be arranged for you. If you just want some non-urgent advice you can also call 101 and leave a message. Please be assured that we will always treat you with sensitivity and respect."

Victims and witnesses can report incidents to police without fear via the non-emergency number 101, online at herts.police.uk/Report.

However if people do not feel comfortable speaking directly to police, hate crime can also be reported online through the True Vision website report-it.org.uk which all police forces in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are signed up to. The online report will then be forwarded to the relevant local police force. For more information about hate crime, visit hertsagainsthate.org.

To contact an LGBT+ Officer in your local area for non-urgent advice ring 101 and ask to speak to an LGBT+ Officer or to leave a message for them to contact you, alternatively by contacting them online at herts.police.uk/contact.

For more information about the LGBT+ support on offer from YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People, visit youngprideinherts.org.

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