Police Scotland is training more than 60 officers to work with the country’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) community to help prevent hate crime.
Tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland and research shows LGBTI hate crime is under reported. The new training – which is being delivered by Equality Network, Scotland’s national LGBTI equality and human rights charity, on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission - aims to help address this issue and increase public confidence in Police Scotland around the country.
Once they have completed training, officers will become part of a new network of LGBTI Liaison Officers who can be contacted by the public. The officers will also be able to help and advise their colleagues across Police Scotland on LGBTI issues.
Superintendent Davie Duncan of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities Department said: “Tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland. We are delighted to have worked with the Equality Network. Research and studies show hate crime against the LGBTI community is often under reported. We hope that these specially trained officers will encourage more LGBTI people to come forward with the confidence in Police Scotland to help reverse this trend.”
Supt Duncan added: “If anyone feels they have been the victim of, or witness to, a crime which is motivated by malice or ill will because of sexual orientation or gender identity they should report it to us directly, online or through a Third Party Reporting site.
“We take all such reports very seriously and will conduct thorough investigations to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Scott Cuthbertson of the Equality Network added: “We know too many LGBTI people are the victims of hate crime, but we also know that many, for whatever reason, still do not report hate crimes. We want to change that.
“That’s why we are pleased to be working so closely with Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurators Fiscal service and other criminal justice agencies to provide training on LGBTI issues and to work together to remove the barriers to reporting a hate crime.”