Another chief constable makes a formal apology to the LGBT+ community #ApologiseNow

The Peter Tatchell Foundation, a registered charity, is running a campaign called “#ApologiseNow” which has this petition statement:

Demand all UK police services apologise for their past persecution of the LGBT+ community: raiding bars, clubs, saunas and even private birthday parties. Plus, officers arrested same-sex couples for mere kissing, cuddling and holding hands, and they abused LGBTs as ‘poofs’ & ‘queers’.

Police forces in the US, Australia and Europe have apologised. UK Police should do the same.

Northumbria’s Chief Constable, Vanessa Jardine, has recently made a formal apology to the LGBT+ community and is urging all Chief Constables to do the same: to say sorry for past homophobic witch-hunts and discriminatory law enforcement. She said:

As the portfolio holder with the National Police Chiefs Council, I will continue to encourage colleagues to review your request for an apology. I am also working on a National LGBTQ+ Strategy which I am hoping will be seen as another positive step towards building a more inclusive future.

Jardine is the sixteenth UK police chief to apologise, following similar apologies by the heads of the Metropolitan, City of London, Sussex, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Gwent, Avon & Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, West Mercia, North Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Devon & Cornwall and Nottinghamshire forces. That’s 16 out of 50 chief constables in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies.

Peter Tatchell commented:

West Midlands Police, one of Britain’s most historically homophobic forces, has refused to say sorry, and so have North Wales. Greater Manchester and Liverpool Police have yet to respond to our requests. There’s also been no response from police chiefs in Scotland and Northern Ireland, despite repeated reminders. This sends a very negative, even hostile, message to the LGBT+ community.

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2 Comments

  • Mary Fulton 23rd Apr '24 - 5:35pm

    The police forces should certainly apologise for actions against the LGTB+ community in England and Wales since 1967 (and since 1980 in Scotland and 1982 in Northern Ireland). The police should not be expected to apologise for enforcing laws prior to their abolition – politicians should apologise for that.

  • As with all these sorts of apologies, they are pleasant indicators of how the organisations would like to be seen now. It is better to have them than to have nothing.

    But the people we ought to have apologies and restitution from are those who misused their power at the time – consciously and intentionally causing harm from their bully pulpit. Not from the person who was next-in-the-job-but-five.

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