Norfolk police in bid to break down barriers with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups with visit to Wymondham police HQ
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups have visited police headquarters as part of a bid to break down barriers, increase confidence and encourage more reporting of hate crime.
Norfolk Constabulary's diversity team hosted an evening for LGBT groups at the OCC in Wymondham ahead of tomorrow's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (Idaho).
The event held at police headquarters on Monday saw LGBT groups from Norwich and Norfolk given a tour of the control room ahead of an informal discussion forum about hate crime.
Det Sgt Gary Dack, a gay liaison officer at Norfolk Constabulary's Vulnerable People Directorate, said it was hoped the event might break down barriers between victims and police and help encourage more people to come forward in relation to this under-reported crime.
He said: 'Hate crime can be particularly nasty, confusing and frightening because someone may be persistently targeting you either with insults, threats or physical attacks.
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There may also be difficulties in reporting such incidents because of language or cultural barriers or other vulnerabilities, but be assured that we can and will do everything we can to help you and where possible prosecute offenders.
'Hate crime cannot, should not and will not be tolerated in Norfolk and we would encourage you to contact us if you are being targeted or if you know of someone else who is a victim.'
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Monday's initiative also helped promote tomorrow's Idaho, which is celebrated every May 17 and aims to garner international support for the respect of lesbians and gay rights.
May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation on May 17, 1990. Later this summer LGBT groups will take part in this year's Norwich Pride celebrations.
This year's Norwich Pride – the fourth since it was launched in 2009 – will be on Saturday, July 28, and includes a picnic in Chapelfield Gardens as well as stalls, speeches and entertainment at the Forum and a parade through the city.
To report a hate crime call police on 101.
For more information about Norwich Pride log onto www.norwichpride.org.uk