Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader has promised to do all he can about community safety issues experienced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community (LGBT) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
When Sir Clive and his Chief Executive Paul Stock met the LGBT Centre on Tuesday 26 March, Board Members stressed that they wanted equality, not special consideration.
By listening to what they had to say, the Commissioner aimed to gain a better understanding of their issues along with the underlying problems and causes so that they could work together to find solutions.
He explained that his Police and Crime Plan emphasised early intervention and the causes of crime, including hate crime. He has already asked the Chief Constable to focus on tackling this type of crime.
Sir Clive said later: "Listening to the group, it was clear that they feel that Leicestershire Police is acknowledged as a benchmark force for dealing with LGBT issues, and that its officers know how to deal with LGBT people appropriately. Even so, there is always room for more to be done, particularly as legislative changes (such as gay marriage) take effect."
He pledged to attend another of their meetings (hopefully with the Chief Constable), as well as doing all he could to ensure focused, up to date induction and refresher training with input from the LGBT Centre. "All officers should understand the issues, and I will do my best to drive that," he added.
He also promised to consider how to encourage greater reporting of crimes against LGBT community members - which are typically under-reported - and increase confidence that the police will support them.
Sir Clive concluded: "I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet the group, and will be back on 20 May to a meeting of the Community Safety Forum. It's all about building trust and building relationships that are conducive to sharing information and views."
Ian Robson of the Centre said: "This was a really positive evening and we are very pleased that Sir Clive took the time to come along to our meeting. It marks the start of a positive working relationship enabling community input to the Commissioner, and it's reassuring to know that we are being listened to."
Posted on Monday 9th May 2016