For some time, England & Wales had been without a national LGBT Police organisation following the closure of the Gay Police Association (GPA). In 2014, at a conference hosted by the European LGBT Police Association in Berlin, a small group of police officers indentified the need for local LGBT &T police networks to work together more closely and share best practice with an aim to improve the working enviroment of LGB&T staff in the police service and improve our relationship with LGB&T communities.
In March 2015, a meeting of LGBT police groups was held in Birmingham made up of representatives from 45 Police forces and crime agencies from across the Great Britain.
Delegates discussed many aspects of policing, recognising the achievements the service had made to improve quality of life for LGBT staff and changing local and national policies to deliver a fair and equal service. Many of the advances seen were also acting as a bench mark for public sector organisations and Police forces from across Europe who saw the way we were evolving as best practice.
Whilst so much has already been achieved, it was also recognised that there was still a considerable amount of work to be done, not only in terms of strategy but simply supporting our own staff. Pockets of inequality still exist within in the service and there was still some way to go in terms of improve trust and confidence within the LGB&T communities.
To challenge such behaviour is not always easy and can not always be achieved in isolation, there remained a need for a collective voice in the form of a new national LGBT police body to act as a critical friend and help police organisations maximise the protential of their staff.
The network has received endorsement from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the Police Federation, Unison, National Trans Police Association and Stonewall. It also works closely with GPA Scotland who operatate under a seperate jurisdiction.