Inspector Kirsten Troman from Hampshire Constabulary on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. 

Hampshire Constabulary LAGLO car at Brighton Pride 2015 two

Having the trust and confidence of transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay and plus communities is key to our ability as police to tackling crime and protecting those who need our help.

It’s an approach to policing that Hampshire Constabulary takes year-round, and one we reflect on on 17th May each year to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

The force’s network of LAGLOs has been supporting LGBT+ victims and witnesses across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for more than 20 years.

The role was established in 1996 and there are now LAGLOs in every part of the force. They work for safer LGBT+ communities, encouraging reports of hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence, and ensuring people who identify as LGBT+ feel supported from the moment they contact us.

Hampshire Constabulary has made significant progress over the last two decades, including being ranked second in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index in 2009.

In the last year there were 410 hate crimes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight targeting someone’s sexual orientation, and 98 targeting someone’s gender identity. These are hate crimes, and we want to ensure that anyone who’s been targeted because of who they are has the confidence to report it, whether that’s to us directly or via one of the other means of doing so.

Please always call 999 if it’s an emergency. If it’s less urgent, you can call police on 101. You can also report hate crimes online, via True Vision, for example. There’s more information about reporting methods on our website, the Police and Crime Commissioners’ website and at Citizens Advice Bureaus.

You may not be aware that you don’t have to identify as LGBT+ to be a victim of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime; it’s whether you perceive the crime to be motivated by this that determines whether or not it’s a hate incident or hate crime.

If you’re the victim of, or witness to, an LGBT+-related incident, you can ask to speak with a LAGLO at any time during your contact with Hampshire Constabulary. We have LAGLOs in our call centres, so we’re there to support you from the start.

As far as any police investigation is concerned, how you identify has no bearing on what we do. We might ask you how you identify to help us best tailor the support we provide, but otherwise our focus is on protecting you, protecting communities and bringing offenders to justice.

While IDAHOBIT is an important day for us, we work throughout the year with our LGBT+ communities. You can follow what we do on our Twitter profile @HantsPoliceLGBT.

You may also have seen our LGBT+ car on patrol and at events around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the last two years; it’s really helped us raise the profile of our work and achieve our aim of building trust and confidence.

Keep an eye out again for us this summer at Pride events in Southampton, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and Basingstoke (among others!) and come and say hello!

Inspector Troman is co-chair of Hampshire Constabulary’s LGBT+ Resource Group

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