Around 10 Hampshire Constabulary police officers and staff will again be joining this year’s Brighton & Hove Pride parade.
The event this Saturday (August 13) promotes equality and diversity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) people and is the biggest of its kind in the south.
PC Darryl Clarke has organised the force’s involvement in the event. He said: “Brighton Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year. With everything going on in the country at the moment, this is an opportunity for all communities to come together, LGB&T or otherwise. As a police service, we’re a part of those communities and are committed to providing a visible presence within them.”
This will be the fifth year Hampshire Constabulary police officers and police community support officers will be marching in uniform.
The number of those attending has been reduced from what was originally planned to ensure their involvement does not impact on the constabulary’s commitment to policing the two counties this weekend and provide mutual support aid to forces across the country.
This year, the force will be supporting a campaign to kick hate, including homophobia and transphobia, out of football. PC Joe Finch, who’s a Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer (LAGLO) based on the Isle of Wight, said: “We’re getting involved with the Kick It Out and the Justin Fashanu campaigns both of which are dedicated to promoting respect among players and fans in sport. Five of the south’s teams are playing together in the Championship this season, including Portsmouth and Brighton on Saturday 13 and we’re aiming to reach many of our local football supporters. No-one should have to put up with being called names in the street or made to feel intimidated because of who they are, so why is it any different on the terraces?”
To report hate crimes or incidents, including those of homophobic or transphobic nature, you can call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or 999 in an emergency, and ask to speak with one of our dedicated LAGLOs.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall this year featured as a ‘Straight Ally’ in a national guide for employers by the LGB charity Stonewall. He said: “Through these times of change it’s more important than ever for me to focus on and support my staff whatever their sexual orientation, ethnic background, age, gender or ability. Our commitment to Brighton Pride and our consistent success in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index helps achieve that and long may they continue.”
Hampshire Constabulary’s LAGLOs have their own Twitter profile and you can follow them @HantsPoliceLGBT.