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Lib Dems Welcome Gay Police on Parade

July 1, 2005 5:29 PM

Richard Porter, Chair of DELGA said: "For the third year running uniformed police officers will join the Pride London parade.

"The Police have moved forward on LGBT Rights, and we in the Liberal Democrats welcome that, although we also recognise there is still a way to go."

The participation of the Gay Police Association's follows the conclusion of Celebrate, a two day European Gay Police Conference that was hosted by the GPA.

Over 100 UK Police Officers and Staff will take part in uniform, and they'll be joined by 30 colleagues from police services from across Europe, Australia, Canada and USA and a further 90 GP members wearing GPA T-shirts bearing the 'Police: Could You' recruitment slogan.

"We are delighted to see MPS officers in uniform again this year with other members of the Gay Police Association," said Kirsten Hearn, Chair of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Board at the Metropolitan Police Authority.

"We value the contribution officers and staff from London's diverse communities can make from within the organisation by changing attitudes and informing policy."

Earlier this year the GPA wrote to all of the UK Chief Constables inviting them to show their support for their gay staff and join them on the parade.

No Chief Constable accepted the invitation, however a small number of senior ranked colleagues have taken up the invitation, including Nigel Arnold, Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and the Association of Chief Police Officers lead on LGBT issues.

"This year only two Chief Constables declined to allow their officers to participate in uniform and the majority of Chief Constables now recognise the direct benefits from improved community confidence and recruitment their force gains by the GPA's participation in this event," said Saunders.

The two forces that refused permission for their officers to participate in the parade in uniform were Dyfed-Powys Police and Hampshire Constabulary.