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Avon and Somerset Police ready for #PolicewithPride

LGBT Pride Crest

Pride celebrations are just around the corner and we are looking forward to joining the thousands of people who will be celebrating at local events.

Our officers will be proudly donning rainbow colours and marching alongside revellers at Pride in Bristol on Saturday 13 July, as well as Weston Super Mare Pride in Grove Park on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July.

During Bristol Pride, we will be hosting a pre-Pride breakfast at Temple Back Fire Station from 8.30am on Saturday alongside the Fire Service and Ambulance Service where attendees can see our rainbow wrapped cars and vans, and meet officers and police staff. We will then be joining the thousands taking part in the Bristol Pride parade through the city, before ending at the festivities on the Bristol Downs.

Our LGBT+ liaison team, which is a mix of police officers and staff who have understanding and training on LGBT+ issues, will be onsite at both Bristol Pride and Weston Super Mare Pride. Their role includes enhancing the relationship between the police and LGBT+ communities in an effort to boost people’s trust and confidence. They will be at the events to positively engage with the community, discuss the work we’re doing to resolve key issues affecting LGBT+ communities, and, most importantly, to speak to people about how the police can help.

No one should feel victimised or targeted because of their sexuality. However, we know that LGBT+ members are more at risk than others and are less likely to report crimes committed against them. We want to send a clear message that homophobic and transphobic behaviour will not be tolerated, and want to encourage anyone who is a victim of, or is a witness to hate crime to report this to us. We are dedicated to keeping people safe, to offer our support and to do what we can to bring people to justice.

Our support for Pride highlights our commitment to being an inclusive and representative force, and recruiting people from diverse communities is a priority for the Avon and Somerset Police. We will be open for PCSO recruitment on Monday 15 July and we’ll be encouraging people to approach our officers and talk about job opportunities.

In honour of Pride and in a show of solidarity for LGBT+ communities we have also created a dedicated Avon and Somerset Police ‘Pride’ logo featuring the police hat emblem encircled by a heart decorated with LGBT+ rainbow colours. The logo complements the rainbow coloured epaulettes that will be worn by all our officers throughout the weekend.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Events like Pride bring local people together as well as allowing us to share the important message that hate crimes will not be tolerated.

“As individuals, our differences should be celebrated and we need to remember that it’s our uniqueness that makes each and every one of us who we are. Being targeted because of your age, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other reason is unacceptable.”

Last year Pride Bristol welcomed a record 36,000 people, reflecting further public involvement in showing solidarity towards LGBT+ members. Now in its 10th edition, we anticipate Bristol Pride to be bigger and better than ever with the number of attendees expected to double thanks to festivities taking place on a new venue, on the Bristol Downs.

Engage with us on social media using the #PoliceWithPride.

For more information about PCSO recruitment visit: https://bit.ly/2Lhcd3C

For pictures and updates from police on the day, follow the LGBT+ liaison team on twitter – @ASPoliceLGBT, @ASPolice on Instagram or search ASP LGBT+ on Facebook. For more information about reporting Hate Crime, visit: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/advice/threats,-assault-and-hate-crime/hate-crime/