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Apology from Devon and Cornwall Police

Intercom Trust warmly welcomes the apology from Devon and Cornwall Police by Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell for the Force’s past homophobic persecution.

In a letter to LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell, Colwell expressed regret for the harm caused by the often-abusive way the police enforced historic anti-LGBT+ laws:

“We know that the police have to uphold the laws of the day. Of course, it also matters how the law is upheld. I know that, at the time, the way the laws were enforced was often disrespectful and inappropriate, and caused long-running damage to trust in policing amongst LGBT+ communities. This includes impacting adversely on our own LGBT+ officers and staff. I have of course heard this directly from ex-officers.

“I want to apologise for the way those laws were enforced in the past and for any harm caused to LGBT+ communities in Devon & Cornwall as a result,” Colwell wrote.

Colwell is the fifteenth UK police chief to apologise, following similar apologies by the heads of the Metropolitan, City of London, Sussex, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Gwent, Avon & Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, West Mercia, North Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Nottinghamshire forces.

The Chief Constable’s full letter can be read here.



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