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Members of PCC team and Police LGBT team to join Bristol Pride event

Pride 2

Laurie, a response police officer and call handler, Chris, both from the force's LGBT Liaison Unit

Members of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens' team will join Avon and Somerset Police at this year's Bristol Pride event to show their support for the city's LGBT communities. 

In a visual display of unity, Police will be marching in the Pride parade sporting special edition rainbow police epaulettes on their uniforms.  The brand new design proudly displays the LGBT rainbow flag colours, instead of the traditional black, with individual officers' identification (collar) numbers embroidered on.

As with previous years, they will join the thousands who are expected to take part in the parade on Saturday (11th July), with the celebrations continuing with other events and live music performances later in the day.

Staff from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be available at a stand speaking to local residents and gathering their views on local policing throughout the day. Speaking about the day, Ms Mountstevens said: "Events like Bristol Pride not only bring communities together but also allow us to share the important message that if you are a victim you are not alone and we are here to help.

"Members of my team will once again be joining the LGBT team for this year's Bristol Pride and I hope you will take the time to visit them on the day."

The LGBT Liaison Unit from Avon and Somerset Police are a mix of police officers and police staff members who have special understanding and training on LGBT issues.  Their role includes enhancing the relationship between the police and LGBT communities in an effort to boost people's trust and confidence.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, who is due to attend, said: "With record numbers attending Pride in 2014, we are looking forward to this year's event being bigger and better than ever. Police officers and staff will be proudly wearing their new rainbow epaulettes but most importantly we'll be speaking to people about how police are here to help.

"No one should ever feel victimised or targeted because of their sexuality however we know that people from LGBT communities are more likely to be victims of crime and less likely to report it. We want to send a clear message that homophobic and transphobic hate crimes will not be tolerated in our city, and encourage anyone who experiences of witnesses hate crime to speak to us. Support is available and we will always do everything we can to bring people to justice.

"Our support for Bristol Pride reflects our commitment to being an inclusive and representative police force, where everyone, including our LGBT staff, are proud of who they are and the work we do to keep people safe."

The parade meets in Queens Square from 10am, leaving for the route to Castle Park at 11am prompt. People can visit the police stand in Castle Park, where officers will be on hand to offer crime prevention advice, give information on our latest campaigns - including how to report hate crime - and even pose for selfies. #PolicewithPride

Posted on Wednesday 8th July 2015
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