The Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, has partnered with Northern Pride to seek the views of the LBGTQ+ community on policing and crime in the run up to Northern Prides annual showcase event.
The Commissioner is inviting all members of the LGBTQ+ community to have their views heard & a say in how the force, and her office, best utilise local resources.
There is also an invite to join the Commissioner in a virtual meeting to discuss any issues and concerns in person – part of the PCCs commitment to ensure the voices of residents are heard loud and clear by the force in her role as ‘voice of the public’.
Launching the consultation, Kim said: “It is my role to ensure that all communities are being listened to and represented within the forces priorities – this is a real opportunity to have your say on policing & 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, they’ve brought new policing demands and changes to crime types, therefore it is 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.”
Hate crime, linked to sexual orientation, has steadily increased in recent years and the addition of lockdown has also brought additional challenges to victims of crime. Across Northumbria, overall hate crime incidents increased across the 12 months from April 2019-20 to April 2020-21 – including a small increase in homophobic & transgender hate crimes.
During the Commissioners Police & Crime Plan consultation, the ‘safety of the LBGT community’ and ‘Hate crime directed at LGBT+ community’ were both listed amongst priorities that residents would like to see addressed.
Ste Dunn, Director of Northern Pride, who are supporting with the promotion of the Commissioners consultation, said: “It’s great that our Commissioner wants to hear the views of the LGBTQ+ community and understand their issues and concerns directly. Only this way can we seeing meaningful follow up and action.
“Our community has seen increased challenges because of lockdown – many living in potentially unsafe households, or living with people they didn’t feel safe confiding in, 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 will be open for two weeks and can be accessed via http://bit.ly/NbriaPCCNPride21 – the survey is open to all those aged 18+.