Senior officers show solidarity with LGBT+ community during Pride month
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Senior and specialist officers are playing their part in Luton Pride this week to show solidarity with the LGBT+ community.
Last night (Thursday) the force attended the traditional Pride Vigil which opens the festival to remember those in the UK and internationally who have lost their lives due to hate crimes against the LGBT+ community.
Officers will also be out supporting the main Pride event tomorrow (Saturday).
Over the past year, Bedfordshire Police has recorded 1,286 hate crimes, including 175 linked to someone’s sexual orientation or being transgender.
Deputy Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic, who attended the vigil, said: “Last night our community gathered to remember those who have lost their lives for simply being their true selves.
“It is not acceptable that in today’s world, anyone should fear being abused or attacked for their sexuality or identity. In Bedfordshire, hate crime has reduced by 14 per cent over the last 12 months – but there is more to be done.
“I want our communities to know that we take hate crime extremely seriously and if you are a victim of this or know someone who is, then please talk to us. You will be heard and we will do all we can to help you.”
Inspector Scott Raghib, co-chair of the Bedfordshire Police LGBT+ Network, added: “We have fantastic officers and staff across our network who are dedicated to making improvements for our LGBT+ community.
“We have dozens of specially trained LGBT+ Liaison officers who provide tailored support to victims of LGBT+ hate crime and ensure we are providing the best service we can.
“Last night’s event was a hugely powerful reminder of why we still need events like Pride and I am delighted that Bedfordshire Police is showing it such strong support.”