Cumbria Constabulary is holding its first online meeting designed to appeal to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities to give people the opportunity to speak to police and gain valuable advice online.
On Thursday 27th September from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, officers will provide LGBT communities the opportunity to gain advice, find out about crime and hate-related issues locally and ask any questions.
Among a host of other partners, Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer will be on hand to give information on what support is available in Cumbria if people feel they have been harassed or attacked because of their sexuality or gender.
Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said:
“Everyone has the right to live their lives without the fear of violence and intimidation and it is up to the police to support communities and ensure that action is taken against people who commit crime.
“Hate crime in any form is unacceptable and we do all we can to tackle the issue in Cumbria. However, we’re aware that hate crime is often something that goes unreported and we don’t want victims to suffer in silence.
“We have established Third Party Reporting Centres across the county which help us to get a clearer picture of the true nature of hate crime. We are committed to uncovering crime where it happens and we hope that this web chat will provide local people with the chance to ask questions anonymously or seek support from us in a way that some victims may feel is comfortable or convenient for them.
“We need victims to continue reporting crimes to us so that we can catch offenders and ensure people don’t become targeted as victims again."
A new report suggests nearly two thirds of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots get bullied at school.
LGBT Youth Scotland surveryed 350 young people between the ages of 13 and 25.
25% said they had also experienced homophobic bullying at college and 14% said they had experienced it at university.
Around a third of those who were bullied felt that discrimination had negatively affected theiremployment opportunities.
Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, Fergus McMillan said,
“The launch of our research today at the Scottish Learning Festival is an appeal to all teachers, youth workers and other adults working with young people, to act now to challenge bullying based on prejudice.
"We’re not yet getting it right for young people who experience discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity at school, college and in the wider community.”