LGBT Advocacy Scheme launched
10 Jun 2010
Police in South and East Belfast, in partnership with The Rainbow Project, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Community Safety Partnership and Belfast City Council Good Relations Unit have launched an Advocacy Scheme for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community.
Building on the success of the two previously launched Advocacy Schemes – the Bi-lingual Advocates working with the Chinese and Polish communities and the Hate Crime Advocate - the community-led pilot project involves the appointment of an Advocate to work closely with the LGBT community in areas such as Hate Crime, domestic abuse, homelessness and other issues of concern. The main objectives are to encourage reporting, reduce crime, enhance crime investigations, improve clearance rates for hate crimes, provide support for victims including housing support and reduce anti-social behaviour towards members of the LGBT community. The advocate will be based within the offices of the Rainbow Project in Belfast.
Officers in South and East Belfast are confident that the LGBT Advocate will become an invaluable tool in addressing the underreporting of crime by the LGBT community as well as in instilling a sense of equality. It is also hoped that in time, members of the LGBT community will consider the Police Service as a career option and thus help the Police Service become even more representative of the entire community.
Speaking at the launch, B District Deputy Commander, Superintendent Chris Noble said that building trust and promoting diversity were key priorities in today's policing environment.
"Attacks on people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity highlight the necessity to ensure that as a society we stamp out hate crime once and for all. We are working tirelessly with our partners to do this. Our 'Policing a Shared Future Strategy' outlines the need to ensure that everything we do is underpinned by fairness and respect towards all members of our community. This includes ensuring equality for all, improving relations between different groups in our society by promoting diversity and building confidence in the police. I believe that the appointment of the LGBT Advocate will be a tremendous step in that direction.”