Pictured at the launch of the Policing with Pride vehicles are (L to R) Superintendent Emma Bond, PSNI Hate Crime lead, Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris and Anne Connolly, Chair of Northern Ireland Policing Board.
As part of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s involvement in this year’s annual Pride festival, which takes place from today, Friday 28 July until Sunday 6 August, the Police have liveried three vehicles to highlight hate crime. The vehicles carry the message ‘Policing with Pride - Hate Crime is Unacceptable – To Stop It, Report It.’
Discussing the ‘Policing with Pride’ Vehicles, Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: “Pride is an important series of events for those in the community who identify as being LGB+T and the Police Service of Northern Ireland sees this as an opportunity not only to show its support for these members of our communities but also to highlight that hate crime, in whatever form, is wrong and the importance of reporting it. The ‘Policing with Pride’ liveried police vehicles carry the message ‘Hate Crime is Unacceptable – To Stop It, Report It.
“Hate crime should not be tolerated and victims should be encouraged and feel confident that when they contact police that their concerns will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately.”
The Police Service LGBT Network will be involved in a number of events including the Pride Picnic and the Pride Parade. Police officers and staff have been involved in the Pride parade for many years; however, this is the first time that police officers will take part in the parade in uniform.
Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “We are delighted to support the clear message of the PSNI during Belfast Pride that any sort of hate crime is wrong. It’s a very sad reality that homophobic and transphobic hate crime continues to be committed in our society. This is not an issue for the police alone to deal with but as they are often the first point of contact, the message and service provided by the PSNI is critical.
“I welcome the fact that officers will be parading at Pride in their uniform for the first time ever, demonstrating the diversity among PSNI officers and staff and PSNI support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people across our community.”
The ‘Policing with Pride’ liveried Landrovers will be operational throughout Belfast Pride and will also be used at the Newry and Derry/Londonderry Pride events.