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New Policing and Crime consultation promises to get LGBTQ+ voices heard

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness is on a mission to prevent hate crime – and with the launch of a new LGBTQ+ Policing and Crime consultation, now we can help her

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 14.07.2021

It’s shocking that, in 2021, we’ve seen a rise in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes across Northumbria over the last few years.

And yet, here we are. But, hopefully, not for much longer. With Northern Pride just around the corner, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness has decided now is the time to launch a new LGBTQ+ Policing and Crime consultation.

Kim has been working closely with leading LGBTQ+ charity Northern Pride to create a safe space that is effectively a listening ear for the community’s concerns. But they can’t do it all alone. To really make the consultation work, as many LGBTQ+ locals as possible need to get involved and share their views on how the force can best prevent hate crime. Yep, that means you too!

Do you prefer to voice your views? You can also join Kim in a virtual meeting to discuss any issues or concerns as part of the PCC’s commitment to amplifying residents’ voices. It’s time to get your voices heard.

Kim believes the consultation has the power to bring about real change. ‘It’s my role to ensure that all communities are being listened to and represented within the forces priorities,’ she says. ‘This is a real opportunity to have your say on policing and crime and help ensure the force is doing the best job they can to fight crime, prevent crime, and improve lives.

‘The last 14 months have been challenging and they’ve brought new policing demands and changes to crime types, therefore it’s important that I know what issues are facing our communities and what is required of the force. ‘I’m devastated that our fabulous Pride festival won’t be taking place in person for another year running, but I know Ste and everyone at Northern Pride will put on a fantastic virtual event, just like last year.’

During the Commissioner’s earlier Police and Crime Plan consultation, the ‘safety of the LGBTQ+ community’ and ‘hate crime directed at the LGBTQ+ community’ were listed among priorities that the community would like to see addressed.

Lockdown has created additional challenges for victims of crime, with hate crime increasing across Northumbria. But now this is all set to change thanks to the new Policing and Crime consultation. Ste Dunn, Director of Northern Pride, is pleased to support the promotion of the consultation.

‘It’s great that the Commissioner wants to hear the views of the LGBTQ+ community to understand their issues and concerns directly and only this way can we seeing meaningful follow up and action,’ he said.

‘Our community has seen increased challenges because of lockdown, with people living in potentially unsafe households or with people they didn’t feel safe confiding in, which has meant that many have really struggled.

‘I urge all members of the LGTBQ+ community to have a say, give their views, and tell the police what would make them feel safer.’

The consultation is open throughout July to anyone over 18 and can be accessed by following this link

Northern Pride is taking place online on Saturday 24 July. To check out the full line up, visit Northern Pride’s website.

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