A community liaison officer who set up a Homophobic Incident Reporting Line has been presented with a certificate of merit.

Mick Cronin, who works in Kent, set the scheme up in Dover and Folkestone in 2003.

It proved to be a success and it was rolled out across Kent and Medway a year later.

He has managed to arrange funding to sustain the line from Community Safety Units (formerly CDRPs) across Kent and Medway, and continues to organise training to all staff involved and review the performance.

Mr Cronin was commended by the Chief Constable of Kent for his work to tackle hate crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Leppard presented him with a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit during the International Day Against Homophobia, May 17th, at Kent Police Headquarters.

“I was very surprised, but also pleased to get this award,” said Mr Cronin.

“I would like to think the award recognises the work of all the funders and staff and would like to take the opportunity to encourage anybody who is suffering abuse or harassment to come forward and allow us to help”

The Homophobic Incident Reporting Line – a dedicated hotline for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Kent – is a dedicated freephone number – 0800 328 9162.