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Cornish police accused of homophobia at Pride

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  1. dopy dave here 28 Aug 2007, 7:49pm

    cant we set up a petition to get this issue addressed. Re this arrest? What was it for etc?

  2. Have written to my MP asking for an investigation into the behaviour of the police. I would encourage others to do the same.

  3. Sister Mary Clarance 29 Aug 2007, 7:47am

    I certainly would have to have a little more detail about what went on and what the person was arrested for before I a) write to my MP b) sign a petition.Perhaps someone could enlighten us.

  4. I am pleased that this article has appeared on Pink news, as it hilights the plight of gay people in rural areas. I was born and bred in a rural area. I currently live in social housing and due to five years of harrassment, I want to move. Due to illness and disabilty I cant just go any where, also my funds are very limited, as house prices our beyond most peoples reach nowadays. So I have the chance to build a small place in the village from where I come from, land donated by a worried family, who are also limited on funds. But they want to see me safe. I have explained to the planning office my problems, and I was advised to play down the gay thing down. As I now feel I have nothing to lose, if they stop it again (I have submitted the application once before) I am going to go on hunger strike til the end. I feel that strongly about it . I have gone down all the right roads of Police, MP, Councils, etc. They did offer some limited help, but not enough.I do not feel safe in my home any more. I will not walk outside the front door, only too run to the car. I would like a dog for company , but will not get one , until I live somewhere I feel safe to walk it. My future has been taken away from me. Gay people in the rural community really need the help that they do not get. My death will not help me, but hopefully it will raise an issue that will help others. When I start I am going to film it and post it on you tube. Please if you see it on you tube,offer your support. Articles like this just prove we still have a long way to go!! Suppression is not just happen in faraway places, it is still going on here in the UK.

  5. Why is there no comment from the police or a local politician? Why was someone arrested and on what grounds?This news article needs some serious follow-up.

  6. Malcolm Lidbury 29 Aug 2007, 1:20pm

    Cornwall police are RENOWNED for their homophobic attitudes and responces to gay issues and homophobic incidents. In the local gay community of Cornwall we have a catalogue of numerous cases of abuse violations by Cornwall Police. Visit the youtube website and search for Devon Cornwall Constabulary then view some of the vids.Cornwall Police continue to ignore the Twenty Two recommendations made by the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a result of Complaints by a gay man in 2006.The most likely person to violate and abuse a gay person in Cornwall…will be carrying a police warrant card.

  7. It only reinforces my point regarding the deportation proceedings for that poor Iranian woman. Homophobia is rife throughout our society and our government. We’re not so tolerant and accepting as others like to portray our society, unlike other countries that are far more progressive and accepting.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  8. I have just watched the you tube vids. I thought I was alone in my sitution , but it seems I am not.

  9. David_London 30 Aug 2007, 8:42am

    Does anyone actually know what the person who was arrested by Cornwall Police straight after attending a meeting that decided they didn’t want the local police involved with their local pride event (and held for sixteen hours before being released,) was actually arrested for? There needs to be more information available to us all on what’s going on down there.

  10. maybe next year we should all show our support and turn up for cornwall pride?

  11. Malcolm Lidbury 31 Aug 2007, 5:08pm

    Once AGAIN the idea of compromise by Cornwall Police means turn a blind-eye to intimidation, bullying abusive violations carried out by police officers against gay people.The Cornwall PRIDE steering group voted on three seperate occassions to EXCLUDE Cornwall police due to community concerns of police violations ignored by police repeatedly!There were good reason why following gay complaints the Independent Police Complaints commission made TWENTY TWO reccomendations last year (2006) against the Devon Cornwall Constabulary..AND STILL Middlemore Police headquarters completely and utterly ignores IPCC reccomendations and gay correspondence on abuses carried out by Cornwall police officers against gay persons.As for a Cornish gay youth abused by police in a botched violation ‘stop and search’, he’s never had justice as is the case with most gay people abuused by Cornwall police.Go to youtube and search ‘Cornwall police’!Cornwall Police have grave difficulty accepting homosexuality was decriminalised 40 yrs ago and we now as gay people have ‘theoretical’ equality in law.

  12. (Before you read this please understand I’m Dyslectic) I make a small newspaper that I maintain myself and last week my PC crashed in a Catastrophic way, but the bizarre thing about it was that my backup also crashed, which leads me to the realization that it must have been a malicious attack. It was my newspaper that ran the “EXCLUSIVE” about Devon Cornwall Constabulary on the 15th of August.Before I became the editor of a newspaper I was an LGBT activist and I corresponded with Avon Somerset Constabulary and other authorities. One day out of the blue I was visited by the Police and told to stop campaigning for gay rights or face arrest for harassment (of them)! I was so angry because how could I campaign for gay rights without corresponding with Avon Somerset Constabulary and other authorities. I can completely believe what Malcolm is saying because it happened to me.

  13. Sister Mary Clarance 31 Aug 2007, 8:41pm

    Really not clear at all about what is going on here. There has been a story that was a best light on detail about someone involved in organising a Pride event begin arrested for something (we know not what). This could have been homophobic presecution of an innocent man, or the guy could have been caught stuffing a Walls Vienetta down his pants at Iceland.We then have the local LBGT officer offering some cryptic response to the wishy-washy allegations. Possibly being cagey because there are confidentiality issues, or possibly because there is a full on homophobic conspiracy taking place.We are then pointed to a series of home movies on Youtube by a very vocal opponent of the local police which support the homophobic conspiracy theory, but it then transpires that he is the author of these movies.Can’t help feeling that this story is more ‘gossip’ than ‘news’ in its present form. Needless to say, I’ll not be boycotting cream teas and clotted cream fudge yet a while.

  14. All very strange, Stonewall, in January 2006 praised them for their support of LGBT officers and “recognised them for adopting best practise in looking after the welfare of minority groups.”I’m sure I have just read somewhere that their diversity team has just won an award for their work. Think we need to let the dust settle on this a bit before we all start jumping to possibly the wrong conclusions. Certainly doesn’t sound like the same Police Service to me.

  15. In a recent TV interview Brian Paddick said in the last year that there had been more complaints of homophobic discrimination from within the police force than in the 40 years since decimalization.Lets not pander to those deluded organizations that think we should do what ever we can to encourage people to report homophobic hate crimes when some police forces are ignoring changing those blatant homophobic procedures that could make a world of difference if they changed them.

  16. Craig, there are somewhere in the region 133000 police officers in the UK, I think to tar them all with the same brush smacks a little bit of the same sort of behaviour that labels ‘all gays’ the same.Although I sure there are many examples of bad policing that can be cited by readers of this site, it ain’t all bad mate, whatever your own personal experiences or those of your friends may be. There may, or may not be, some bad police practices going on in Cornwall (the jury’s still out on that one as far as I’m concerned), but I have to say that I can’t fault my local police in relation to my own experiences and I certainly, wouldn’t want them painted with the same broad brush you seem happy to apply to every officer and force up and down the country.I did report homophobic hate crime to my local anti-social behaviour unit and within two hours my statement had been taken over the phone by a solicitor, as there was already an ongoing investigation into the little … ‘challenged lad’ that I had had the run in with. Thanks to my statement and those of others he was intimidating and racially abusing an interim ASBO was served two days later. All evidence statements except mine had been presented in court as hearsay (without the victim being identified) and as a result I was singled out as the person who had caused the ASBO to be issued. However, a statement carries more weight if it has a name attached.As a result of my actions over a period of months I and my partner were subjected to threats, intimidation and abuse. My car and that of my partner were damaged and one evening whist walking close to our home my partner was even stoned and subjected to homophobic abuse by a group of lads known to be friends of my little ‘challenged’ mate. Every time I was aware the ASBO was breached I reported it and made a follow-up statement.All through the process I felt supported by my local police. My telephone numbers were all flagged for immediate response should I ever call the police (I naively though calling 999 ensured that anyway). I was offered a camera to take video footage of my property and the area where I parked my car. I subsequently found out that the local police had even amended their route to pass by my property (and car) at night check everything was okay. I was regularly contacted to check there were no further incidents, and kept informed of all developments with the wider case. I made statements at appointment times convenient to me at the local police station. These were taken by an officer familiar with the case each time. Parking was provided for me in the police station car park whenever I did so. When I attended court a private witness room was provided for me, to avoid me having to meet my ‘challenged’ little friend in the main witness area. On the first occasion I attended court, I was re-assured by one of two officers posted either side of me that they were there for ‘my protection’. I was always offered transport to and from court.One of the many conditions of the ASBO was that afore mentioned ‘challenged’ lad was not allowed to contact me. He didn’t, to be fair, but at one of the several hearing and adjournments this clause was omitted and I pointed this out as we left the courtroom. The clerk of the court was immediately informed and the defendant and the District Judge were hauled back into court to reinstate the clause again.Whilst the whole thing seemed to last forever, I cannot fault the police or the council for the way they responded to the incident. It was a crime and they dealt with it. They dealt with it sensitively and professionally. Because of the amount of time it dragged on, I came into contact with a sizeable number of officers and there were never any issues with any of them, every last one of them was friendly and personable. Even when dialling 999 and new officers becoming involved there was never a sense that there were not taking things seriously because it was homophobic hate crimeI have always taken the view that if you are a victim of crime you should report it and never more so that now, having had such positive experiences.When it was all over, they even nominated me for a Home Office award, which now stuffed someone, and the thousand quid which came with it is long gone. I’m sorry that some people are having bad experiences but I don’t think it’s the norm and I certainly don’t think people should assume that their local force is homophobic.

  17. Craig, sorry for the previous long posting but a couple more things:1) re PC crash – could this just be unhappy coincidence?2) re Brian Paddock – I think he’s done rather well out of the police service. Not sure he’d have been in the running for Mayor of London without them.

  18. Malcolm Lidbury 6 Oct 2007, 10:56am

    From members of Cornwall Gay PRIDE beach day steering lgbt-pride-beach-picnic@tesco.netFear of Police reprisals causes Gay PRIDE members to leave.Some members of the 2007 Cornwall (UK) LGBT Gay PRIDE steering group have stood down out of fear of homophobic police reprisals against them as gay persons. The Cornwall PRIDE group had previously voted on three separate meetings to exclude involvement by (Cornwall*) police on this years PRIDE day, due to gay community growing concerns about police attitudes towards gay persons. Just days before the PRIDE day on the August bank holiday, police arrested of one of the organisers, and held him in custody for over 16hours. Genuine anger expressed by some at comments in the national LGBT Pink Paper newspaper by Aaron Piper, Cornwall police diversity manager that arrest of a member of the Cornwall Pride steering group did not put in jeopardy the PRIDE day. ‘PC Piper was wrong, and it is exactly this sort of deliberate public misinformation by police causing distrust in Cornwall police in the informed sectors of the local gay community’ said a Cornwall PRIDE steering group member. The Cornwall Gay PRIDE day very much put in peril by arrest on false allegations, a member of the PRIDE steering group just days before the PRIDE day. (The person who originally made allegations against a gay man has made numerous phone calls texts to people apologising, telling them they have withdrawn the allegation, explaining they had felt pressured into making the allegation by police and the accuser’s now x-partner). Aaron Pipers misinformed response seen as further demonstration of lack of police understanding regarding strength of feeling and anger in parts of Cornwall’s fractured and vulnerable gay population.“I personally believe this false allegation used by police as payback for open honest justified criticism of police by gay people voting to exclude police from the Cornwall gay PRIDE day. As a gay person, I do not trust the Cornwall police force on any gay issue,” said one of the PRIDE steering group who is now considering leaving Cornwall altogether. Some PRIDE members had suggested cancelling the 2007 Cornwall Gay PRIDE beach day because of hostile police action. However, it was felt this would only have suited elements in the Cornwall police force. There is also genuine irony in Arron Piper announced in the national newspaper, Pink Paper three new police diversity officers in Cornwall. Appointment of new Cornwall diversity officers last year are as a direct result of an Independent Police Complaints Commission enquiry in 2006 into Devon Cornwall Constabulary conduct following complaints against police from one gay man. The very same gay man police ironically targeted and arrested just days before the 2007 Cornwall gay PRIDE day. Complaints in 2004 2006 to the IPCC about the Devon Cornwall Constabulary resulted in twenty-two recommendations of needed improvement in police service, but informed gay people feel the IPCC recommendations have been treated with contempt by the Cornwall police force. In 2005, the Lord Justice Kay Criminal Justice award research established there were 354 homophobic incidents reported to the Devon Cornwall Constabulary, but only 13 of these were ever finalised in Court. Many more incidents are never even reported to police due to legitimate and justified gay community concerns about known continuing negative policing attitudes towards gay persons in Cornwall”.…and this is not the 1st time police intervention has threatened an LGBT community equality activity in Cornwall. In 2004, a LGBT forum for the Criminal Justice Service research on policing in the Cornwall gay community. Following a press release, Cornwall police hostile intervention caused cancellation of the 2004 LGBT forum from its original venue location. When a formal complaint to the IPCC in March 2004 about a catalogue of police misconduct that is when identified Cornwall police vendetta against a gay man started in earnest. Since the original March 2004 IPCC complaint, a gay man has had his home raided and searched by Cornwall police twice, Nov 2004 Aug 2007. Cornwall Police seized a computer and directly caused collapse of two gay owned private businesses. Police later had to admit, both in civil court and in an Independent Police Complaints commission enquiry in 2006, that there were no illegal images on the computer. Despite eventual admission by police, no compensation for destruction of either of two businesses. Genuine fear expressed about deep continuing homophobic attitudes within the police in Cornwall at all rank levels“I recently sat in on a police interview of a gay victim of an attempted blackmail. You could have cut police animosity towards the gay victim with a pickaxe. Cornwall police dismissed the case, completely ignoring a gay eye witness ”, said Sue, a women’s member of the Cornwall PRIDE steering group and also member of women’s OUTBACK group.Peter, an 18 yr old youth member of the Cornwall PRIDE steering group said:-“On two separate incidents Cornwall police have refused to take a statement from me as a gay person and direct eyewitness regarding abuse incidents where a gay person was the victim, but that’s just what Cornwall police are like. I myself abused by Cornwall police in a botched ‘stop and search’ with public strip search carried out in a chapel coffee morning. According to police, because I had ‘blue hair’ at the time. I do not trust by experience, Cornwall police on anything regarding gay people. As a result I voted for NO involvement of the HOMOPHOBIC Cornwall police force in the 2007 Cornwall gay PRIDE day”. “False allegations have been made against a gay man where there have been numerous other gay/bisexual people clearly and equally involved in lawful behaviour. However, police have singled out, arrested, targeted, and persecuted one gay man relentlessly over a four-year period. I believe this is a deliberately orchestrated vendetta by Cornwall’s police. It is odious and sinister on the part of what I sincerely believe is a deeply prejudicial Criminal Justice Service in Cornwall.” Said a friend of the gay man, and does not wish to be identified.According to some gay people in Cornwall, the problem is one of a gross lack of honesty, impartiality, integrity, and transparency of conduct operative throughout the Cornwall force when it comes to local police denial of ingrained prejudicial handling, treatment, and hostile attitude towards gay persons, gay equality laws, age of consent, and gay lifestyles.In Sept 2005, a two hundred-signature petition mainly by gay persons in Cornwall was sent to Ian Bynoe, commissioner of the IPCC. It identified NO trust expressed in local Cornwall internal police investigation unit on gay related issues of police misconduct. In Sept 2006, a Truro Crown Court Judge Rucker condemned equality campaigning on HIV/AIDS awareness gay rights as “Evangelical Proselytising”. The same judge indicated in his summing up that equal age of consent for gay men came into effect in 2004. The Judge was wrong; it was in fact 1st Jan 2001. In 2006, Devon Cornwall police headquarters threatened, to take legal action to prevent publication and distribution of ‘Fagbutts’ a local newsletter campaigning for gay equality. Direct written quote from police: “The Constabulary will not tolerate such publications nor the distribution of such publications and will take robust action against you should such documents be published and distributed in the future” Michael Stamp Senior Force Legal Officer. This indicative of depth of Police homophobia in Cornwall. A yawning chasm exists between lip service, spin, and platitudes spouted by Cornwall County Council, Devon Cornwall police and Justice Services about equality diversity law and fair treatment of gay persons. The remaining core members of Cornwall LGBT PRIDE steering group are to meet soon to discuss beginning planning next years Cornwall Gay PRIDE Beach Day. The prevailing homophobic attitude within the Cornwall Police force will undoubtedly be a topic of priority discussion.

  19. i think we can all see there is more to this story, and the police wouldn’t arrest someone for organising a “Gay Picnic”..i think this guy prob had his fingers in more pies than he dares to disclose, and seems to have a real axe to grind with the police…maybe he’s just been caught in the act and feels as though the internet is his soap-box…well to be honest, i dont think many guys in Cornwall agree with you, and i feel i have been supported when needed by the police…in all your blogs and videos you fail to disclose a lot of info which i’m sure would put all the pieces of the jigsaw together for us all who have to put up with the waffle, when you put Cornwall and gay in a search engine….you fail to say why you were arrested? can we ask what this was for?I’m sure the police had good reason, and i’m sure you are not giving us the whole truth!

  20. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Feb 2008, 2:20am

    Andi – undoubtedly there’s more to this than meets the eye.I very much suspect that the problem in Cornwall may not be the police but a vexatious member of the gay community, who has been badly treated in the past and cannot move on.

    1. Pink Pasty 1 Jul 2011, 1:48pm

      Two years after the arrest Cornwall police (DC Parker) finally admitted in writing that it was a NO CRIME. Police in Cornwall have repeatedly refused to arrest & prosecute the person who made the false allegation.

      However the damage had been done as the arrested gay victim of this police action had attempted suicide.

      The gay victim of this oppressive & vindictive homophobic Cornwall police force now lives (July 2011) on incapacity benefit, due to panic attacks & cannot leave his home without a career.

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