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Manchester Pride raises £95,000 for charity

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  1. Malcolm Lidbury 16 Oct 2007, 12:06pm

    Well DONE Manchester PRIDE.Regretably Cornwall (UK) PRIDE is considering disbanding due to Devon Cornwall Police HOMOPHOBIA!The chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has vowed to tackle allegations of homophobic behavior and homophobic police misconduct and is holding a public consultation on its draft guidelines on investigating allegations of discriminatory behavior. In Cornwall, some members of the 2007 LGBT Gay PRIDE steering group have stood down out of fear of homophobic police reprisals against them as gay people.The Cornwall PRIDE group previously voted on three separate meetings to exclude involvement by (Cornwall*) police on this years 2007 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 common place public misinformation by police causing distrust of 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 (The person who originally made allegations against a gay man has made numerous phone calls texts to people apologising, telling them they have withdrawn the allegation, explaining they had felt pressured into making the allegation by police and the accuser’s now x-partner). PC Aaron Pipers belligerent and 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 gay PRIDE members suggested canceling the 2007 Cornwall LGBT PRIDE beach day because of hostile police action. However, it was felt this would only have suited elements in the Cornwall homophobic police force.More recently, post -Pride event, it was discovered many gay persons stayed away in fear from the 2007 Cornwall PRIDE beach day because of concern of aggressive Cornwall police targeting, reaction and conduct regarding a former naturist beach at Penhale in Cornwall. An unofficial naturist beach for 40 years but targeted last year by Cornwall police because gay men said to use it. There is also genuine irony in Aaron Piper announced in the national newspaper, Pink Paper three new police diversity officers in Cornwall. Appointment of new Cornwall diversity officers last year 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 354 homophobic incidents reported to the Devon Cornwall Constabulary, but only 13 of these were ever finalised in Court. Generally, Cornwall police just cannot be bothered with homophobic hate crime against gay persons. The Cornwall police attitude which clearly comes across is gay people get what they deserve regarding ‘HATE CRIME’. Many more incidents not reported to police due to legitimate and justified gay community concerns about known continuing negative policing attitudes towards gay persons in Cornwall. When in 2006, gay equality issues and concerns were raised in ‘Fagbutts’ a local Cornish newsletter campaigning for gay equality. Devon Cornwall police headquarters responded and threatened, to take legal action to prevent publication and distribution of the gay newsletter. 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 is indicative of depth of Police homophobia 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”. See Peter’s video: – Peters story in full: – “False allegations have been made against a gay man where there have been numerous other people clearly and equally involved in lawful behavior. 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.See Cornwall Police Homophobia video:- 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 their 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 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 2002, Gay Times magazine survey established 70-80% of gay men engaged in anal sexual activity. In 2006, a Cornwall Crown Court accepted a statement from a Detective Constable that “Anal sex was always an act of sexual violence”. QED. According to Cornwall Justice Services, 70-80% of ALL gay men commit acts of sexual violence.(Previously in 1997, the Criminal Justice Probation Service was put in charge of the Cornwall Isles of Scilly Health Authority Cornwall Gay Men’s Health Project…as ALL gay men in Cornwall were perceived as potential sexual criminals.)In 2006, the IPCC made twenty-two recommendations to Devon Cornwall Constabulary as result of complaints from a gay man in Cornwall. Even then, only half the complaints investigated by the IPCC, the rest handed over and buried by the highly distrusted in gay circles, local police professional standards unit. It is felt police have treated these IPCC recommendations with contempt.In 2005, the Home Office stated Homophobia was ‘endemic’ within the police force. Regrettably, nothing has changed in 2007 with homophobic attitudes in the local yokel rural police force of Cornwall. There is a determination within Criminal Justice Service institutions and authorities in Cornwall to criminalize gay persons. 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. Homosexuality may have been decriminalized forty years ago and gay men may have an equal age of consent with heterosexuals since 2001, but in Cornwall, the criminal justice services start from a position that gay men are still criminal by nature of their sexuality. Gay equality laws simply disregarded by authorities in rural provincial backwaters like Cornwall, which may as well be on the moon and a million miles from Compton Street or STONEWALL headquarters in London.NB: In Oct 2007, Devon Cornwall police came thirty-third out of t