This morning Weymouth Gay Group (WGG) contacted us alerted us to the horrific violent transphobic attack in Bournemouth that has just taken place.
Pink News (source of image above from the link below) has done a fantastic job on highlighting the significance of the attack for Bournemouth’s reputation as Trans and LGBT+ friendly and safe, and on public service organisations (police) with responsibilities in this field: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/06/23/trans-man-attack-knifepoint-underwear-bournemouth-england-ruan-filipe/
The Network on learning of this horrific attack at the request of WGG contacted our new Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) Mr David Sidwick, immediately, and within minutes received a call to Network lead Alan Mercel-Sanca, and shortly after received the important statement below from the DPCC directly.
The DPCC in responding swiftly to the Network’s raising the incident this morning with him, and it’s reception by and impact on the LGBT+ community has said:
‘This incident/attack is utterly appalling and I am Not indifferent! I will be raising it as a matter of community concern.‘
The Bournemouth Echo later also provided a news article in which the DPCC provided fuller reasons for his statement to the Network, above: https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/districts/boscombe/19400668.trans-man-allegedly-attacked-knife-bournemouth/
The Network provides its fullest solidarity with Ruan at this difficult time! We believe that such anti-LGBT+ hate crimes require multi agency (local authority/BCP Council, as well as the police and DPCC, and Prejudice Free Dorset (PFD): clearly NHS support on the mental health impacts of such anti-LGBT+ ASB, too) coordinated action and very clear messaging.
Bournemouth is a nationally and internationally important tourism destination, and with a substantial LGBT+ community. Violent hate crime incidents such as this, which in the link above the whole of the LGBT+ population of Portugal are now aware of, harm our society, reputation, and ultimately economy.
On providing this news article (early evening of Friday 25th June) we are very pleased to see that Dorset Police are taking the incident very seriously. Hopefully the culprits who committed this hideous attack will be apprehended swiftly, protecting LGBT+ community members.
However, we note that as Ruan is a BAME international community member, it appears that he may not have been made aware of the reporting processes as fully as is clearly necessary. This is something that needs to be looked at in earnest from the relevant authorities sides and employers and student services providers in terms of need-to-know information provided before or immediately on international community members settling or staying in the BCP area. This certainly applies as much on race-related, as with LGBT+ related ASB risk experiences.