Police and Police and Crime Commissioner support LGBT History Month (2 Feb 2015)

West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire are supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month as part of our continued hate crime campaign.

To coincide with February's LGB&T History Month, a particular focus is being placed on raising awareness of homophobic hate crime and how to report it.

The hate crime campaign focused on incidents connected to gender identity in November; but over the coming month officers will also be engaging with the transgender community at LGB&T History Month events.

LGB&T History Month aims to promote equality and diversity and celebrate the lives and achievements of both lesbian, gay and bisexual and trans communities.

The joint hate crime campaign was launched in October to raise awareness of the five strands of hate crime - race, sexual orientation, faith, disability and gender identity.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Paul Money said: "There is no doubt that as a society there is now a better understanding and acceptance of all sexual orientations than ever before; however there are still a minority of people who think it is acceptable to target someone because of their sexuality or perceived sexuality.

"Our hate crime campaign is sending the message that being who you are is something to be proud of but targeting someone because you perceive them to be different is not something West Yorkshire Police will tolerate.

"Our officers are engaging with communities and specific groups to promote what constitutes a hate crime or hate incident and encourage reporting of incidents. We would urge anyone who has been a victim of, or witnessed, a hate offence or non-crime hate incident to contact us. That way we can ensure that it is dealt with, with support put in place and appropriate action taken against those responsible."

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson said: "Hate crime is a crime committed against people when they are targeted because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity.

"With West Yorkshire Police, as your PCC I am are committed to tackling all hate crime, putting victims and witnesses at the heart of what we do, as we all have a responsibility to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred.

"As your PCC I am ensuring the right services are commissioned for victims and witnesses of hate crime to guarantee a consistent approach to tackling the problem across all strands of diversity and in all districts across West Yorkshire."

Anyone with information about a hate incident is asked to report it either by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime or www.report-it.org.uk or in person at a police station.

Alternatively, there are independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) across West Yorkshire for anyone who does not want to speak directly to the police. To find your nearest centre visit the West Yorkshire Police website.


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