Confidence in Avon & Somerset Police’s ability to tackle homophobic hate crime is among the highest in the country a survey by a charity supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual people has found.
The Gay British Crime Survey 2013 was undertaken by Stonewall to look at how homophobic hate crime is tackled and satisfaction in the police response. The survey found that Avon and Somerset Police had the second highest confidence levels when people were asked how confident people were in the police’s ability to tackle homophobic hate crime in their area.
Across the country, people in Avon and Somerset also feel least at risk of being harassed because of their sexuality.
Avon and Somerset Police have a dedicated team with a special understanding and training on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Support is offered by them on an individual basis where needed as well as assisting partners at public events and attending social venues.
In the survey, Sam, 24 and from the south-west, said: “Avon and Somerset’s Police LGBT Liaison Officers and PCSOs are brilliant. They have … Twitter presences so that you don’t have to dial 999 to report it; they have a very high public profile so that lots of people know they’re available as a resource.”
Superintendent Andy Williams, who acts as on of the forces diversity champions, said: “This is encouraging news which suggests our gay communities are amongst some of the best supported in the country. We are working hard to build our relationships with them and the hard work of all our officers, especially our LGBT team, is achieving results. However, we will not rest on our laurels as we recognise that there is still more work to do. Despite our national position, we recognise the our scores could be higher and we will be striving to continue our improvement and continue the good work already recognised by the survey to make sure our gay communities are safe and feel safe.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Following the publication of the Stonewall Crime Survey, I was pleased to see that residents in Avon and Somerset have confidence in the way we are dealing with addressing homophobic hate crime, but we can always do better. We have some fantastic hate crime charities and dedicated officers working with victims however it is essential that people who have experienced hate crime come forward and report it. ”