CHIEF Constable Ben-Julian “BJ” Harrington will mark the International Transgender Day of Remembrance today, Tuesday, November 20, by flying the transgender flag at Police Headquarters.
The day is observed annually to remember those who have died as a result of transphobic violence and to raise awareness of the hate crimes committed against the transgender community.
Between October 2017 and September 2018, 2,340 hate crimes involving criminal offences were reported to Essex Police, 78 of which were committed against transgender people.
Chief Constable Harrington said: “Hate crime isn’t just offensive: it’s a criminal offence. It’s violence, it’s vile abuse, it’s publishing information specifically to intimidate, harass and distress. Putting this flag up might take just five minutes but it’s an important way of marking our absolute commitment to support victims of threats, abuse and violence that causes real fear and harm. I know that far, far more than 78 people have been the victim of these crimes in Essex in the last year and I need those people who have suffered in silence to come forward and speak to us. We want to help you, protect you, and get justice for you.
“Call us on 101 or ring 999 in an emergency. You can also visit one of the 55 Hate Incident Reporting Centres across the county if you don’t feel like talking to an officer straight away, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“We will continue to work with brilliant organisations like Transpire in Southend to educate the wider public about the issues these communities face and how we can all do better in our treatment and recognition of transgender people. If you, as a member of the public, see these acts of violence being committed, please report them to us.”
During National Hate Crime Awareness week this year, the force continued to work with Southend-based support network Transpire, to raise awareness of hate crimes against transgender persons and encourage reporting of these crimes.
Detective Superintendent Scott Cannon, the force lead for hate crime, added: “We cannot underestimate the importance of the work that charities like Transpire do. With their help, and the aid of other groups in our communities, we’ve been able to appoint 500 Hate Crime Ambassadors across over 50 Hate Incident Reporting Centres across the county.
“Reports of hate crime against transgender people are rising and I would urge victims to continue to come forward and report these offences against them so that we can offer support, identify offenders and bring them to justice.”
You can find a full list of the force’s Hate Incident Reporting Centres here: www.essex.police.uk/advice/hate-crime/hircs