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EXCLUSIVE: Police complaints body will tackle homophobia

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  1. The problem with guidelines is that they are not compulsory. What we need is an independent FBI (style police force) that investigates police forces.

  2. Malcolm Lidbury 11 Oct 2007, 5:26pm

    Good News as the IPCC needs to change its attitude towards homophobic police misconduct.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 Arron 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 (The person who originally made allegations against a gay man has made numerous phone calls texts to people apologising, telling them they have withdrawn the allegation, explaining they had felt pressured into making the allegation by police and the accuser’s now x-partner). Arron 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 was 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. 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”.”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 people clearly and equally involved in lawful behaviour. However, police have singled out, arrested, targeted, and persecuted him relentlessly over a four-year period. I believe this is a deliberately orchestrated vendetta by Cornwall’s police to silence him as visible gay critic of continuing problems of homophobic policing. 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, who 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 brutal reality is one of institutional misconduct and poor delivery of equality of service to gay people in Cornwall. Those who have experience of homophobic attitudes, misconduct by Cornwall police, and have dared to be critical, find them-selves isolated and on receiving end of a targeted vicious vindictive police instigated homophobic vendetta. 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.Watch videos on Youtube on institutional homophobic Cornwall.

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