The Angels of Freedom are proud of our close working with partners within West Yorkshire Police (WYP) & British Transport Police (along with others in the Safer Leeds partnership), highlighting risk & vulnerability within the LGBT+ communities and providing a positive relationship with their teams to reduce the impact of crime.
Although we fully acknowledge the historical challenges between LGBT+ communities and the police, and recognise that some people still have negative experiences with individual circumstances, we believe that through building positive partnerships we can work together to constructively challenge service provisions to improve engagement, understanding and inclusion.
Perpetuating the historical distrust increases the level of risk experienced within our own communities, building positive relationships helps increase confidence in reporting and challenging activities committed against individuals.
One of the initiatives we support is promotion and attendance at the West Yorkshire Police 'LGBT+ Hate Crime scrutiny panel' sessions, which are essentially engagement sessions facilitated by the Hate Crime coordinators of the police and open for attendance by anyone from the community. During these sessions the group review cases of reported LGBT+ Hate Crime, with the (anonymised) details of case records and actions of the police being discussed in order for constructive feedback, highlighting any concerns, discussion of police processes and suggestions of potential improvements.
We're confident that these sessions have a strong positive influence within West Yorkshire Police, with documented process improvements being introduced as a direct result of discussions in these panels.
The effectiveness of these panels increase by the number of community members attending, as we all bring our own individual backgrounds and life experiences into the discussions - so we're always looking for more people to get involved. To participate no previous experience or knowledge around Hate Crime required.
The sessions are on an 8 weekly cycle, running 6pm until 8pm in a Leeds City Centre venue: Mondays - 7th January, 4th March, 29th April, 24th June, 19th August, 14th October & 9th December.
If you'd like to get involved in attending these sessions please email the WYP coordinator: email@example.com
Should you have any questions regarding this, or any other initiatives with the Angels of Freedom please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information regarding Hate Crime you can visit: West Yorkshire Police, British Transport Police, Leeds City Council & Stop Hate UK.