New drop-in centre for LGBT hate crime victims opened
The centre will provide support and advice for victims of hate crime.
A new evening drop-in centre for victims of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender hate crime is being launched in Swansea.
Police officers and staff from the Unity Group will be on hand to discuss LGBT issues, give advice and provide support to victims of such crimes.
Unity chief executive Andrew Davies said the aim was to build trust between the police and the LGBT community.
Mr Davies said: “We are trying to break down barriers so that people in the LGBT community feel able to talk to the police about their experiences.
“The only way we can tackle hate crime is if it is reported and if we provide a neutral space hopefully victims will feel more confident about coming forward,” he added.
The first evening session is set to take place from 19:00 until 21:00 fortnightly from March 17 onwards.
Elsewhere in the UK, it was recently announced that Scotland’s police force is ramping up its commitment to tacking anti-LGBT hate crime.
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LGBTI charity the Equality Network is collaborating with Police Scotland to deliver a training programme for police at locations around the country – aimed at helping police support victims of hate crime, and increasing public confidence in police.
The more than 60 new LGBT Liaison Officers are intended to be the hub of a network across Scotland, that is accessible to the local LGBT and intersex communities.
Superintendent Jim Baird of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities Department said: “Tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland. We are delighted to have worked with the Equality Network.
“Research and studies show hate crime against the LGBTI community is often under reported.
“We hope that these specially trained officers will encourage more LGBTI people to come forward with the confidence in Police Scotland to help reverse this trend.”