Following reports of police harassment at Cornwall’s first gay Pride, Aaron Piper
Diversity Manager for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has issued this statement to PinkNews.co.uk:
“I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the article posted on PinkNews.co.uk entitled ‘Cornish police accused of homophobia at Pride.’
“I was very pleased to hear that the event was a success but a little surprised to hear of the alleged police harassment.
“The offer of support by the local diversity officer prior to the event was declined by the Beach Pride Steering Group and no police resources were deployed on the day to the event or to the beach area.
“In answer to the other issue raised in regards to a Beach Pride Steering Group committee member being arrested, no arrest was made in connection with any offence involving the Beach Pride event.
“The investigation continues and the arrested man has been bailed to return to a police station at a later date.
“Potentially, an alleged crime such as this can scar beyond the legacy of physical injury and raise concerns within the wider community.
“What I can say categorically is that this police enquiry had nothing to do with the organisation or the delivery of the Beach Pride event on the day.
“On a more positive note I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the new Police Diversity Team in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (IOS). At this time we now have three new diversity officers who cover East Cornwall, Mid Cornwall and West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“Our communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly like any other face social challenges that require all members of the community to develop new approaches, working methods and practices.
“The need for us jointly to accept realistic expectations rooted in shared core values such as fairness, impartiality and integrity will enable us to achieve common objectives.
“Resolutions can be accomplished through compromise, even when the questions at hand are deep seated and historical. I believe that nothing can be achieved in isolation but working in partnership and taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions will allow us to move forward.
“This simple philosophy will enable everyone to work together and endeavour to meet the needs of all individuals and communities living and visiting our county.
“Devon and Cornwall Constabulary wants to listen to a wide range of people across the two counties. We welcome your views – if we don’t know about it, we can’t help!
“Finally, in my capacity as the Diversity Manager for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, I would like to reassure you that the Diversity Team is committed to an anti-discriminatory, human rights-led policing culture which recognises, respects and values diversity.”