West Yorkshire to host 2017 LGBT Police Conference (15 June 2017)

West Yorkshire has been selected to host this year's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Police conference.  

The event will be held in Leeds on Friday (16/06) and will have representatives from 40 police forces from across the UK attending.  

Speakers at the conference will discuss privacy issues facing LGBT police officers and staff, and the partnership working on LGBT-related policing issues. 

Detention Officer Warren Walker was appointed West Yorkshire Police's LGBT Network chair in December 2016, and said the event is a good opportunity to highlight the support for LGBT officers in the police service.  

Mr Walker said: "The event is in its third year and it is becoming more popular every year among police officers and staff. 

"It is a good occasion for forces across the country to come together to show support for the LGBT policing community."  

Speakers at the event on Friday will include representatives from the Blast Project, which is the UK's leading male-only sexual exploitation service, charity Bernardo's and Stonewall, a LGBT rights charity. 

Inspector Ben Ryder, who organised the event, said: "There are a number of national initiatives ongoing to increase awareness of LGBT-related issues in the police service and we hope Friday's event will further enhance support to make the police service a more inclusive employer and service provider. 

"We have a number of sponsors, notably Slater and Gordon Lawyers, No1 CopperPot, Police Mutual, the Police Federation and Emerald Life, who have all played a part in putting Friday's event together." 

The conference is being held at Leeds Civic Hall and will honour the first winner of the Julie Barnes Frank Award, an award which recognises the contribution to the progress of LGBT issues in policing.  

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner's Mark Burns-Williamson will also be attending the event. 

PCC Burns-Williamson said: "I am delighted that the National LGBT Police Conference is being held in West Yorkshire this year, reflecting the very inclusive and positive agenda being set here. 

"I am a staunch supporter of all groups working to make the police and society more inclusive and I am looking forward to attending and contributing to the event." 

To find out more on the LGBT Network in West Yorkshire Police, visit: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/lgbt

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