PCC Barry Coppinger, DCC Iain Spittal and representatives of the Cleveland LGB&T Network
A new network is being launched which will support, advise and mentor Cleveland Police employees and staff who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) Network was launched nationally in March 2015 and is the first national association since the Gay Police Association ended in 2012.
It will operate as a support mechanism for police employees and staff and will offer advice, sign posting and mentoring. It will also engage with other LGB&T organisations outside of the force in order to build confidence in Cleveland’s communities.
Eleven committee members will drive forward the aim to demonstrate Cleveland Police’s commitment to equality and diversity, helping staff to feel safe in their work environment and helping LGB&T staff to pursue their career opportunities as well as raising awareness and building employee confidence.
A launch for officers, staff and partner agencies will take place at Cleveland Police Headquarters on Monday 18th May, where there will be guest speakers from South Wales Police, Teesside University and charities Hart Gables and Mermaids.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, said: "Many people are targeted in their local communities for simply being who they are, which is completely unacceptable.
"I have met with LGB&T communities through my ‘Your Force, Your Voice’ initiative to better understand their concerns regarding hate crime and community safety.
"I fully support this network and would encourage other employers across Cleveland to ensure that they support their staff at work to be themselves and to offer assistance or advice if needed, whether it be an issue at work or outside of work."
Chief Constable, Jacqui Cheer, said: "The Cleveland Police LGB&T network is a big step forward in giving a voice to officers and staff within the force. This will empower our employees to be who they are without fear of discrimination.
"I am delighted to support the network and hope that we are able to share good practice and strengthen links with agencies outside of the force and in our communities."
Posted on Friday 15th May 2015