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Every June, people from around the world come together to celebrate pride month.
This month-long celebration, was originally formed to remember the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, in New York City on 28 June 1969, which was the international birth of rights for LGBT+ people. It is also the month where most Pride events take place.
We recently caught up with Safer Neighbourhood Officer and Derbyshire LGBT Network Co-Chair, Andy Sudbury, who said: “As an openly gay man, I feel privileged to work for an organisation that is so open to diversity and inclusivity.
“Over the past few years, I’ve seen the force striving to ensure that we are doing all we can as an organisation to be both a great employer for our LGBT+ officers and staff and to our LGBT+ community here in Derbyshire.
“As a police officer, it is my duty to uphold the law, to prevent and detect crime and to protect the vulnerable. You could say, that due to the way that some individuals in society treat LGBT+ people, that we could fit into the vulnerable category – so it’s important that we do all we can to foster change in society, challenge policies that may discriminate against others and help to educate young people about equality issues, along with tackling any acts of hate crime.
“In the last year there have been some horrific hate crime incidents. Only last month, a paramedic was burned alive in Latvia for being gay, though it’s hard to imagine something this awful happening here in the UK, LGBT+ people are still being targeted for simply being themselves. Recent studies revealed that at least 20% of LGBT+ people have suffered verbal and physical abuse, 40% of Trans people have experienced a hate crime and, sadly, over 80% of hate crimes still go unreported. Online hate has become a thing to be challenged and no one should feel prejudice against them for just trying to live their lives peacefully - it’s so important for people to come forward and make a report if you have been a victim of hate crime, it should not be tolerated.
“I’ve been asked before why we don’t have Straight Pride events and my answer is always the same - be thankful that you don’t need them.
“Pride events are a celebration of LGBT+ culture, which allow people to express themselves freely and in the safety of numbers. This year, Derby Pride will again be over a virtual platform and Chesterfield Pride is hoped to take place mid-August time - we look forward in coming together to celebrate with Pride.
“On behalf of the force, I want to wish the LGBT+ community of Derbyshire a happy pride month.”
Our officers and staff are trained to deal with hate incidents sensitively and professionally. By reporting it, you may be able to prevent it from happening again to you or someone else.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
On our website you will also find details of organisations which can provide further help and support, if you or someone you know has been affected by hate incidents: How to report hate crime.