On MONDAY, May 17, Hampshire Constabulary will be recognising International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The date marking IDAHOBIT was originally selected to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases from the World Health Organisation on May 17, 1990.

Hampshire Constabulary promotes LGBT+ inclusion through an active LGBT+ resource group and its Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (LAGLOs) for Safer LGBT+ communities.

LAGLOs are police officers and police staff who have voluntarily received additional training to support and continue strengthening relationships between the police and the LGBT+ community.

They aim to build trust and confidence within LGBT+ communities and encourage the reporting specifically of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes, as well as support witnesses and victims of these crimes.

Co-chair of the Hampshire Constabulary LGBT+ Resource Group, Inspector Scott Johnson said: “LAGLOs help Hampshire Constabulary reinforce its approach for Safer LGBT+ communities. Our LAGLOs all have specific skills alongside extra experience and training to manage issues with our LGBT+ communities.

“Hate crimes and hate incidents can take place anywhere – at home, in the street, at work, online or at school. No one should have to live with the fear, anxiety and consequences of hate. These are incidents which are motivated by hostility or prejudice based on your actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, race or religion.”

He continued: “Reporting it when it happens will help the police to deal with it and may prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.

“If you've been the victim of crime because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you can speak to any police officer or member of staff.

“If you want to speak to someone with a greater understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, you can always ask to speak with one of our LAGLOs, all of whom have additional training, skills and experience regarding these issues.

“We also know there are many instances where people may not wish to report their experience directly to the police, and Third Party Reporting Centres provide an alternative means of reporting hate crime in a manner led by the victim.”

To find out more, visit: www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/

You can also report hate crimes online at www.hampshire.pnn.police.uk) or by calling 999 in an emergency.