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The police now


"We knew in the eighties and early nineties that we would have to wait for people (in the police force) to retire, or die, for new attitudes, attitudes to change. The police force are now having inspectors who are university educated, much younger and open, they had different opinions on racial and sexual discrimination, and orientation. As time has passed, 99% of that has happened and the Force has its own (gay) recruitment campaign, and has hundreds of gay people working for them. They have their own (LGB) social club, called the Rainbow Club, and get a £50K annual grant. That in my lifetime is phenomenal. We don’t have a problem now with the police in general, they’re one of the biggest employers in the country, the West Midlands Police, so they’ve got to have departments or individuals who don’t get it right, but that doesn’t mean the whole force is homophobic. I have lunch with the Chief Constable four times a year, he’s a charming man, and anything seriously untoward that we have against us in the gay community he sorts in 24 hours. He would do that with any community. He’s the only Chief Constable that’s attended the Police Liaison meeting; he asked to be invited and came within his first month. We’ve had the leader of the Council."

Contributed by: Bill Gavan, 56

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