Dorset Police outreach statement for our LGBT+ community in regard to Covid 19 safety and hate crime issues/risks — further to Network initiated dedicated community outreach request

We are delighted to provide this dedicated LGBT+ outreach Covid 19 related statement from Dorset Police, further to LGB&T Dorset Equality Network request:

Message from Superintendent Gavin Dudfield and Kaz Duke-Glover, Dorset Police’s Legitimacy Manager

During this unprecedented time, we want to reach out to members of Dorset’s LGBT+ community.

This is not just as members of Dorset Police but also on behalf of Prejudice Free Dorset, which includes our Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and his office.

We understand this is a challenging time for all our communities in Dorset, but we do not underestimate the impact it is having on yourselves. We recognise the additional concerns you may have in relation to COVID-19 and we are here to support you, both from a policing perspective but also in terms of tackling prejudice and discrimination.

Dorset LGB&T Equality Network has contacted us to ensure we understand the additional concerns of our LGBT+ community members.

The policing response to COVID-19 is clear – Dorset Police is providing business as usual. Yes, we have been given additional powers in line with the Government restrictions, but our priority is to ensure you are keeping yourself and others safe by staying at home and only making essential journeys in line with the government guidance. 

We continue to police with consent. We want to engage with you, encourage and educate you to ensure we can keep as many people safe as possible, so we can support the NHS and save lives. We will always engage before taking any enforcement action.

Dorset Police’s website has a regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions section and we would encourage you to visit this page and make sure you understand the guidance.

COVID-19 may not discriminate, but sadly people still do. We recognise that members of our LGBT+ communities may receive increased prejudice during this time and we reiterate the importance of reporting. Dorset Police takes a robust approach to dealing with hate crime and we encourage you to report all hate crimes and incidents.  You can report directly via our online reporting form, but of course always call 999 in an emergency. 

If you do not want to report directly to Dorset Police, there are a number of third party reporting centres who can report on your behalf and provide you with support. This includes Dorset LGB&T Equality Network, Bourne Free and the Intercom Trust. A full list including links can be found on Dorset Police’s hate crime page.

We continue to work with our partners, to ensure all our community members stay safe and follow government advice.