Letter: Police commitment to improving gay relations

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The Independent Online
Sir: While I welcome your coverage of our conference last Friday ('Gay victims of crime too worried to tell police', 27 November), I would like to draw attention to some notable omissions. The conference was titled 'Policing in Partnership with Lesbian and Gay Men'. It was a joint conference organised by Galop (Gay London Policing), the Association of London Authorities and ourselves, the Metropolitan Police Service, which partly funded it.

This was just one example of our commitment to improving the policing service we give to people in the capital in general, and lesbians, gay and bisexual men in particular. Our achievements were acknowledged by every speaker.

We have been monitoring homophobic attacks for more than two years, and offered every facility to Philip Derbyshire in his research on our scheme in Islington. He was generous enough to acknowledge this at our conference and in his research report. The monitoring of attacks on lesbians and gays has now been extended to other divisions such as Hammersmith and Brixton, as the conference heard.

The Metropolitan Police added sexual orientation to its equal opportunities policy at an early stage. We do not discriminate in our recruitment, selection or promotion on the grounds of race, gender or sexual orientation. We have a number of 'out' gay officers, as membership of the Lesbian and Gay Police Officers Association shows. Neither is the Met alone in this. Almost every other police force in England and Wales has a similar policy.

Yours faithfully,

ROGER KEMBER

Chief Inspector

Metropolitan Police Service

New Scotland Yard

London, SW1

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