A Leeds policing team has added a new design to one of their vans in time for the city's pride event this weekend.
As part of its ongoing commitment to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community in Leeds, the City Neighbourhood Policing Teean (NPT) has added a stripe to the front of the vehicle.
The stripe, which is in the colours of the LGBT flag, is intended to promote inclusivity and to promote a positive relationship between the community and officers.
Aside from the city van two other vehicles have also been branded with rainbow graphics and ‘Policing with Pride’ messages for the event.
Inspector Andy Berriman of the Leeds City NPT, said: “As the city centre’s neighbourhood policing team we are here to serve each and every one of our residents and we want everyone to feel able and open to approach our officers.
“We have been really proud to get involved in the Leeds Pride events and to do what we can to support members of our LGBT community here in Leeds.
“I hope this subtle but distinctive stripe new on our van, which is painted in the Rainbow Flag colours, will act as a very clear statement of our commitment to members of this community.”
He added: “While the stripe is subtle we do think it will act as a visual reinforcement and will encourage persons who may in the past been reluctant to approach us to come forwards.
“Victims of crimes such as same sex domestic violence, for example, have historically been reluctant to make reports and we want to reassure them that officers will listen and do everything in their power to protect them and bring their attackers to justice.”
Officers will also distribute LGBT hate crime and positive action recruitment materials to members of the public attending the events.
The force has hate crime co-ordinators in every policing district who are trained to support the specific needs of victims and witnesses.
Detention Officer Warren Walker West Yorkshire Police's LGBT Network chair, said: “ Leeds Pride is the biggest Pride event in our force area and this year is even more popular with officers and staff from across the force volunteering their time to take part in both the Pride march and community engagement later in the day. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet members of the LGBT community, invite people to our forthcoming LGBT recruitment seminars and also find out what their expectations are when they come into contact with police officers."