Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Police force is most gay-friendly

Members of the force's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Group [pic: Hants police]
Members of the force's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Group

Hampshire Constabulary is the country's most gay-friendly public sector employer, according to an annual study.

The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2009 ranked the force in second place in Britain's top 100 employers for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people.

Banking giant Lloyds TSB came top with Brighton & Hove City Council third.

Hampshire Constabulary set up its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender resource group seven years ago to support its staff.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: "A huge effort has gone into this organisation in recent years to make sure people feel comfortable and valued.

"For a police force, such recognition is hugely important.

Stonewall's top 10 gay-friendly employers
Lloyds TSB
Hampshire Constabulary
Brighton & Hove City Council
Kent Police
Transport for London
Nacro
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Merseyside Police
Manchester City Council
Home Office

"We want to give an excellent service to the public, we want to be active in every neighbourhood and we want to catch as many criminals as possible.

"To achieve all of those things, we need a workforce that represents all the communities we serve."

The rankings are based on a range of key indicators, which this year included a survey of almost 7,000 lesbian and gay employees.

Sgt Kirsten Troman, 34, has served in Hampshire police for 12 years, based in Southampton.

"In the [time] I've worked for the constabulary, in both CID and uniform, I've never had any problems with anyone internally about my sexual orientation," she said.

"Historically, lesbian and gay communities have had a difficult relationship with the police, which can make the gay community mistrusting of the police.

"The work the police in Hampshire have done for many years now with our partner agencies helps build these bridges."

Most competitive year

The lobby group Stonewall was founded in 1989 to oppose legislation designed to prevent the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive said: "This was our most competitive index to date.

"We received more entries than ever before from employers who have taken heed of recent Stonewall research which found that gay people are far more likely to buy goods or services from companies they know are gay-friendly."

Eric Daniels, group chief executive of Lloyds TSB, said coming top of Stonewall's rankings was "testament to our progress and commitment" to sexual orientation as a key diversity priority.



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SEE ALSO
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