Thursday, 20 March 2008

Police homophobia continues to plague Cornwall’s gay community

Allegations and complaints of homophobia among officers in the Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary continue to emerge thanks to the hard work and research of Cornish gay rights activist and campaigner Malcolm Lidbury.

Mr Lidbury has now brought the publics attention on his Blog, to two more incidents where officers from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have been accused of discrimination against members of Cornwall’s gay community.

The first incident involved officers from Launceston Police Station stopping a car being driven by a gay couple from Plymouth. A case of mistaken identity allegedly ensued where the officers believed that they found a registered sex offender. When later realising their mistake, the officers said that the gay couple had been ‘lucky’ and that they would not be prosecuted.

The couple made a complaint to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary HQ in Devon, who were informed that the officers concerned would be spoken to.

The other incident took place in Falmouth and was reported on a gay website, but further details are not made available by Mr Lidbury. On his Blog Mr Lidbury calls on members of Cornwall’s gay community to speak out against prejudice and discrimination experienced against them by officers from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in Cornwall.

CPW supports Mr Lidbury’s call, especially in view of the fact that next month Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, Stephen Otter, will be made the Spokesperson for the Association of Chief police Officers on Race and Diversity to include matters of ‘sexual orientation’.

Despite the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People’s charity, Intercom Trust, apparent assurances that Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have made “massive advances since 1997”, there are still some obvious short comings among rank and file officers working in Cornwall when it comes to issues involving sexual equality.

CPW think that a Cornish equivalent of ‘Intercom Trust’ should be started in order to really assess some of the difficulties that people from Cornwall’s gay community have to face here.

1 comment:

by the Pink Pasty said...

It should be mentioned that the LGBT "Intercom Trust" far from supporting gay people subjected to institutional homophobia in Cornwall, has turned its back on those gay persons (like the 15yr old previously homeless Cornish gay youth from Helston) who have suffered victimisation by Cornwall police officers.

Basically, Intercom has a cosy relationship with the traditionally homophobic police and does not want those gay people who have suffered to rock the boat by exposing the problem in Cornwall!