news

Manchester Police become first to record LGBT+ domestic abuse cases

2017-04-10
Greater Manchester Police has become the first police force in the UK to register cases of domestic abuse involving LGBT+ people. The change was first announced in June, when the force launched a pilot scheme. Since that time, over 150 cases have been recorded. Those involved in the scheme, including police officers, were given training to better understand the needs of victims of domestic abuse. This was overseen by Independence Choices and the LGBT Foundation. Myra Ball, Detective Chief Inspector of Greater Manchester Police, told ITV News: "This is a huge step forward in tackling domestic abuse specifically within the LGBT community here in Greater Manchester, and shows our commitment to supporting all victims of domestic abuse in the best way possible, for them. "Over the six month pilot in just one area of Greater Manchester we logged over 150 incidents of LGBT domestic abuse. This code will help us to identify and monitor LGBT domestic abuse incidents, which in turn will help us shape any processes needed to tackle it." Joanne Simpson, the manager of Independent Choices, added: "Congratulations to GMP in leading the way on highlighting and identifying domestic abuse incidents in the LGBT communities. This will go a long way in breaking down barriers that prevent people coming forward to receiving help." According to LGBT domestic abuse charity Broken Rainbow, many LGBT+ people avoid calling abuse services or reporting crimes because this would involve coming out. The charity have completed five weeks of three-hour training with Greater Manchester Police’s frontline staff before the pilot scheme, consisting of “detailed understanding of the complexities of domestic abuse within same-sex relationships.” Emma Baldry, the charity’s training coordinator, said last year: “This new code will enable Greater Manchester police to collect data that will give us a more accurate picture of the extent of LGBT domestic abuse in the Greater Manchester area … and hopefully other forces across the UK will follow their lead.” More stories: 4 in 10 trans people experience abuse before 18, new survey finds LGBT people “targeted” with homophobic abuse outside gay London club