Back in June we became the first UK force to introduce official recording of domestic abuse in the LGBT community, reinforcing our commitment to tackling the underreported crime.
Starting in one area of Greater Manchester, officers had extra training to increase their understanding of the different needs of people who find themselves in domestic abuse situations and, for the last six months, they have been able to record the incident with a specific code if the relationship is between members of the LGBT community.
No other police force in the UK has recorded this information before and we hope that its introduction will add to our current work to capture trends and patterns, ultimately leading us to tackle the issue in the most effective way.
The code was welcomed with a launch event on Manchester’s Canal Street on Thursday 2 June, with Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan, lending his support alongside DCS Vanessa Jardine from GMP, representatives from LGBT Foundation and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle.
Speaking at the time, Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine from GMP said: “We have worked long and hard alongside organisations like the LGBT Foundation to introduce this code and show the LGBT community that we will continue to tackle domestic abuse.
“This is another strong step in the right direction in dispelling some myths and gives people the confidence to report crimes in the knowledge that it will be dealt with appropriately - we want to encourage victims and friends and family of victims to report the issue and have the confidence to come forward.”
The code has been piloted in GMP’s city of Manchester borough for the last six months and, if the trial is a success, the code will be rolled out across the Force and the information will be shared with support organisations to help shape services, set priorities and further develop the support that is available.
D66 has been introduced alongside training with over 200 officers learning about issues surrounding domestic abuse specifically in the LGBT community and the barriers that exist around reporting.
GMP has previously recorded a victim’s sexuality when it has been a motivation for a hate crime but, alongside other work to raise awareness of domestic abuse within the LGBT community, this new code will see us further break down the stigma attached to domestic abuse.
The change came just seven months after GMP made a pledge to adapt their system as part of awareness raising campaign “There’s no pride in domestic abuse”. The first of its kind, the campaign was specifically dedicated to the LGBT community and was launched ahead of 2015’s Manchester Pride Festival.
See more photographs of the launch on our Flickr account here.