Intercom Trust has been working across Dorset since 2005 and has worked closely with Dorset Police for many years.
It is an organisation dedicated to supporting the LGBT community and provides external scrutiny of cases that raise policing issues within the community.
In 2006 and 2014 they conducted their ‘Our Big Community Survey’, which consulted with LGBT people across the county and focused on their views and interactions with the local Police. This report found that of 182 LGBT people, 36% had experienced one or more incidents of homophobia/transphobia/biphobia and of these, 64% had not reported the incident to the police. From the section of the survey that specifically asked about respondents’ attitudes towards police and perceived barriers to reporting, it showed that only 12% of respondents had confidence the reporting of a phobic incident would be treated as seriously as racist incidents. It was also clear that the majority of respondents felt there were barriers to reporting.
As a result of this survey, Intercom Trust applied to the PCC for a grant of £4050 from the Safer Dorset Fund. With this money they wanted to be able to work closely with LGBT people and set up a LGBT Police Consultation Group. Through this group they are able to identify and evaluate concerns around LGBT community safety, as well as discuss attitudes and LGBT community members’ experiences of local police services. A representative from the Police service attends the group’s quarterly meeting whenever possible, which is held in a safe community-owned space. Intercom and Dorset Police work closely together to follow up on any action points that come to light as a result of the group’s meeting.
Find out more about Intercom Trust and the work they do.