Wiltshire Police proudly raised the rainbow flag in celebration and recognition of LGBTQ+ people and culture yesterday (Monday 3 February).
The simple ceremony at Force headquarters in Devizes marks the start of national LGBTQ+ History Month, held annually in February.
Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Wiltshire is a diverse community and it is vital our Force reaches out to, and reflects, the communities it serves, which is why I am delighted to be helping to raise this flag.
“Wiltshire Police is an inclusive place to work. We pride ourselves on the support we give our staff to be themselves and to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues they, or their communities, may be facing.
“I am proud to send this positive and powerful signal to our community - we support everyone’s right to live their life free from prejudice. Only by raising awareness will we educate people on these important matters and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.”
This is just one of the ways Wiltshire Police supports LGBTQ+ equality in the community. It holds regular surgeries in trusted LGBTQ+ venues, rainbow epaulettes are available for officers to wear if they wish, the Force is represented at local PRIDE marches and works closely with partner agency Stonewall.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard added: “Diversity is a major focus for us. We celebrate difference, promote diverse and inclusive communities and will continue to challenge prejudice where it exists.
“Raising the flag is a simple, but powerful, gesture. It underpins our commitment to equality for all and I am proud to support this national month of celebration and recognition.
“Although this is just one month, Wiltshire Police continues to work throughout the year to build trust with LGBTQ+ communities, promote hate crime reporting, support our own staff to be who they want to be and, most importantly, celebrate our differences positively.”