for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality

Stonewall Scotland response to Lothian and Borders police statement on recent gay deaths

In response to Lothian and Borders Police's statement on the recent deaths of three gay men in Edinburgh Carl Watt, Director of Stonewall Scotland said:

'The attacks and tragic deaths of three gay men in Edinburgh are obviously of concern to many people and our thoughts immediately  go to their friends and families. The most recent news is that a man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of Roger Gray. We would like to share the following statement from Lothian and Borders Police and acknowledge their efforts to date in tackling all three of these cases. We welcome their important message to LGB&T people in managing their inevitable concerns at this time. Three gay men have died in recent weeks and this will obviously worry people whether these cases are linked or not.
 
'Stonewall Scotland always encourages anyone who experiences a hate crime or incident to report it to the police, whether they are a victim or a witness.  We welcome the reassurances in the police statement that hate incidents are an operational priority and victims will be provided with appropriate support.'

 

The message from Lothian and Borders Police reads:

'I understand that a number of you may be concerned by the recent deaths of three gay men within Edinburgh, which have been widely reported in the media. I am also aware that some of those reports have suggested that the three deaths may be linked.

At this stage I would like to reassure you that there is nothing to suggest that those deaths are linked, however an open mind is being kept as to the enquiry into each of the incidents progresses.

Lothian and Borders Police recognise the potential concern that those incidents may have within the LGB &T community, however I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we will continue to work closely with all of our communities and the organisations representing those communities to ensure that the Force area remains a safe place to live, work and visit.

To allow us to continue to monitor the impact of those incidents on the LGB&T community, it is essential that people remain confident about reporting a crime to the Police in particular those that involve a Hate element. It is acknowledged that for a variety of reasons not everyone will wish to do this directly to the Police, therefore I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this can be done through a third party via one of the Remote Reporting sites within the Force area. I have attached a list of those sites below.

Lothian and Borders Police will continue to treat the investigation of Hate Incidents as an operational priority and that victims of such crimes are provided with appropriate reassurance and support.

In concluding, I would ask that if you become aware of any increase in tensions within the LGBT community as a result of those incidents that you contact either myself or Sergeant Hazel Leslie at the Force Diversity Unit on 0131-311-3394 at the earliest opportunity to allow consideration to be given to a further reassurance response.

Chief Inspector Gavin Phillip
Safer Communities
Lothian and Borders Police'   


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For media enquiries in the first instance please contact Stonewall Scotland on 0131 474 8019 or email info@stonewallscotland.org.uk. If you have an out of office media enquiry please call 07870 650 662.