Police ‘gay social events’ prompt priority concerns

Critics have questioned the priorities of the police following special events held for gay people and transsexuals.

A gathering was recently held at the headquarters of Central Scotland Police billed as “an opportunity for transgender people from across Scotland to meet each other”.

A spokesman for Central Scotland Police said: “This is just one of many we hold as part of our commitment and legal duty to ensure we provide equitable services to our diverse communities.”

On Saturday Strathclyde police held a gay and transgender recruitment day at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, which recently housed an exhibition encouraging visitors to deface a copy of the Bible.

Scottish Conservative communities spokesman Jamie McGrigor said: “It is important that the police are seen to be open to all groups in society but was it necessary to go to such lengths in this case, bearing in mind that times are so hard at the moment?

“Nobody should be singled out for preferential treatment but one wonders if every social group would have been extended this level of hospitality on public premises.

“The priority has to be more officers on the streets to safeguard and protect honest people, no matter what their background.”

In July the Strathclyde force praised organisers of another gay exhibition at the gallery for helping to promote respect for homosexuals.

Police diversity officers said the show, which featured pornographic images, was doing them a favour by raising awareness of gay issues.

Scottish police forces now employ 21 diversity workers, at a cost of £620,059 a year.

Earlier this week it emerged that the Scottish NHS had spent £1.5 million over the last five years on sex change operations for transsexuals.

In June the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) launched its ‘equality and diversity’ strategy for the country’s eight police forces.

Staff will have special training on diversity issues including gay and transsexual rights.

They will have to undergo a review throughout the year to measure their performance regarding ‘diversity’ issues which could affect their promotion prospects.

In April ACPOS issued police officers with a new diversity guide telling them to let male transsexuals use ladies’ toilets and to avoid calling gays “homosexual”.

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