The police officer is entirely right. There has been a lot of histroy between the police and the lgbt community over the last years. I would say that the last ten have been the best in our relationships with one another. A lot of younger officers do not have homophobic attitudes and there are a lot of long serving officers who never agreed with the old practices of hiding out in cottages (but they had to obey orders etc) No excuse for the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the past however. I am glad things are moving forward and also realise that they are not perfect. But in my time as a gay police officer I was proud to servemy community and encourage them to report hate crimes everytime!
What exactly is the problem in Soho?
I have never seen anything even vaguely homophobic in that region.
Equally, I have hardly seen a copper there either.
It’s one of the few places in UK same sex couples can openly kiss and hold hands and nobody bats an eyelid.
Sounds like yet more PR and spin to me. If the Met spent as much time trying to catch muggers as they did promoting themselves, we might have a safer city.
@RobN That sounds a bit like the council who removed the sign from the end of the cliffs saying “Danger, Cliff Edge”….. because nobody was falling over the cliff.
I am sure the Police are not advocating that Policing priorities should be given over to the lesbian and gay community exclusively?
What I think they ARE doing though is to try and address the traditional negative image of the Police, held by a large portion of the gay community. Call it ´promoting themselves´ or not, if this encourages ANY section of the community to report crimes, then it has to be seen as a good thing.
Whilst I can see and appreciate a lot of the mistrust of the Police by the gay community, if crimes against us are not reported, then nothing can be done about them. Again, as taxpayers, we are just as entitled to the protection of the police as any other section of society.
I’ve experienced BAD police homophobia this year, and in past times when attempting to report Homophobia. Now I choose to have nothing to do with them, regardless of circumstances.
Maybe things are just dandy in SOHO, but elsewhere the police are still full of homophobic neanderthals.
BrazilBoysBlog: Sorry pal, but that’s crap. I could understand your comment if we had a well managed country where general crime wasn’t rampant. This is low priority PR to try and pep up the Met’s somewhat tarnished image. It might make them look better but it serves no real purpose. The point is, if these coppers are at daft meetings such as this, they are not out doing the more important things like policing our streets. Soho never has trouble from gays, and there is little homophobia. (I appreciate this is not a country-wide situation though).
As someone mentioned to me the other day, we live in a sorry society now where pizza will get to your house quicker than the police.
I have to say that I haven’t had any problems with the police in the last decade or so. My hubby was beaten up by an ‘old skool rozza’ in his teenage years for being gay, but since then I think they have tried their best to be fair.
I’ve had to report 3 cases of homophobic assault to the police, two in South Yorkshire and one in London, and on every occasion they have been fantastic. They only managed to catch one of the people involved, but I always felt they took it seriously. For the incidents in Yorks we were given a named officer to deal with directly and he kept us up to date with how they were progressing (checking CCTV etc).
Things have changed, and I think they have changed for the better. I certainly feel better about reporting crime, and I think it is a lot different from the stories my other half tells me about his time growing up.
That said – I was in Soho last night standing outside a bar having a smoke and I got accosted at least five times in the space of five minutes with “Have you got any spare change?” – It’s getting really out of hand.