The LGB&T National Citizens in Policing Specials Conference took place on Sunday 25th February 2018, hosted by Lancashire Police and attended by over 90 delegates with representatives from more than 23 police forces. This was a celebration of diversity and supporting others, having your voice heard, and uniting to work together as one team.
The guest speakers included Jenna Flanagan from Oscar Kilo, who talked about the national framework for police officer and staff wellbeing, PC Gamal ‘G’ Turawa of MetPolice, discussing his experience and struggles as the first openly gay black police officer in the Met Police, and Henry Chapman, speaking about acceptance and being gay in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. There were also representatives from forces such as ACC Julie Cooke the national NPCC LGB&T lead and lead for Merseyside Specials, and DCS Jo Edwards who spoke of her career progression and being a role model, as an openly gay female recently promoted to ACC at Lancashire.
The speakers were inspirational and provided a real insight into the LGB&T inside and outside of policing, especially focussing on the inclusion of specials and volunteers in the police network, and the importance of being able to come into work being yourself. There were some great ideas bounced around the room about how we can work together to support each other and play an active role in promoting diversity, and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime across communities.
The day was a great success and finished with the message of standing together to say no to hate crime. We are looking forward to next year’s event already.