Stonewall has launched a campaign calling on candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner posts across England and Wales to promise to tackle anti-gay hate crimes. The charity has launched a straightforward website explaining what the new Commissioners mean for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and encouraging gay people to vote in the elections on 15 November. Voters can download e-postcards to call on candidates to say what they’ll do to tackle hate crime.
Police and Crime Commissioners will have extensive powers to set local policing priorities. Stonewall research shows anti-gay hate crime remains a serious problem in every police force area in Britain, with one in eight gay people saying they’ve experienced a hate crime or incident. Seven in ten gay people say they didn’t report incidents, a third of whom didn’t think the police would take them seriously. Stonewall works closely with police forces across Britain to help them work more effectively for all people in their communities, and will engage with newly elected Commissioners to make sure they understand and respond to gay people’s concerns.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Too often gay people are subjected to violence or public humiliation just because of the way they were born, and too often they worry the police won’t do anything about it. No citizen should feel unprotected in the face of harassment or intimidation. It’s absolutely essential that gay people engage with Police and Crime Commissioners and have their say on 15 November.’
Stonewall’s information about Police and Crime Commissioner elections is available at www.stonewall.org.uk/policeelections.