Pride parade prompts police abuse campaign


Pride parade prompts police abuse campaign

VICTIMS of domestic abuse, who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGB&T) or in same sex relationships are being urged to seek help from the police and other support agencies.

Officers are reassuring victims they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and offered a great deal of support by specialist officers. The message comes ahead of the eight annual Blackpool Pride event. Over 8000 people are expected to arrive in the resort next weekend for the two day festival which will take place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and Divisional Commander for Blackpool and Fylde Richard Debicki will be supporting the event by taking part in the parade, which is expected to leave North Pier by the Cenotaph at 11am before making its way along Blackpool Promenade and through the town centre to conclude at Winter Gardens where the main Festival will take place.
Posters giving details of support services including the national LGB&T domestic abuse helpline Broken Rainbow will be displayed in bars and other venues over the weekend. Members of the LGB&T policing team will be on hand to offer advice and guidance from a dedicated stall in the Winter Gardens.

To coincide with the event, the Constabulary has, this week, launched a dedicated LGBT page on Twitter. Officers will be adding updates to the page throughout the weekend and are encouraging people to follow them @LancsPoliceLGBT.
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit said: “Domestic abuse isn’t just violence; it can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused. It can happen at any stage of a relationship and is very rarely a one off.

“We know there are people from LGB&T communities suffer abuse at the hands of their partners and for many reasons they don’t report the crimes. We know how frightening it can be for victims to take that first step and come forward to the police – but people should be reassured they will get the support they need from specially trained officers.”

Victims are also being encouraged to call the ‘Blue Phone’ – a dedicated mobile phone that is held by a specially trained volunteer. The 24/7 service, which has been running since 2005, gives members of the LGB&T community another way of reporting incidents in Blackpool if they don’t want to speak directly to the police. The number is 07940 979610.
Alternatively, there is a third party reporting service which allow victims or anyone else who is concerned to report an incident to the police by giving as little or as much information as they wish. Reports can be submitted online at or at

Chief Inspector Cawley added: “There are a number of ways for people to report abuse and victims should be reassured they will offered a great deal of help and support from the moment they report a crime.
“If you think a member of your family or a friend is a victim of domestic abuse, you can still tell police and we can now act on the information you give.

“We treat every case sensitively – our priority is to help the man or woman in the abusive relationship.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: ” Victims of abuse often feel too ashamed or afraid to speak out, and all too often, society turns a blind eye.

“We all need to play our part to make sure offenders are prosecuted, and ensure victims feel they will receive the valuable support they need if they come forward.

“Helping victims of domestic abuse is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan and I would urge anyone from the LGB&T community, if they are being abused or believe a friend or relative is, to take that important first step and tell the police.”

Anyone with information or concerns can contact specialist domestic abuse investigators by calling 101. Alternatively people can visit or call the helpline 08452 60 44 60. Always call 999 in an emergency.



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