Head of London's police force apologises to LGBT+ community

by Reuters
Thursday, 8 June 2023 09:25 GMT

Rugby League - Super League - Hull FC v Catalans Dragons - KCOM Stadium, Hull, Britain - March 1, 2020 Fans inside the stadium display a rainbow flag in support of the LGBT community Action Images/Craig Brough

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The head of London's Metropolitan Police apologised to the city's LGBT+ community for the failings of the past

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - The head of London's Metropolitan Police apologised to the city's LGBT+ community on Wednesday for the failings of the past, responding to calls from an activist group to draw a line under what they called "homophobic victimisation."

Commissioner Mark Rowley, the country's most senior police officer, made the apology in a letter addressed to gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and published by Tatchell's foundation.

"I am sorry to all of the communities we have let down for the failings of the past and look forward to building a new Met for London, one all Londoners can be proud of and in which they can have confidence," Rowley said in the letter.

"I am clear that there is much for us to do," he added.

Tatchell cited persecution in the 1950s when male homosexuality was illegal in Britain, and said ill-treatment had continued in the decades since its decriminalisation in 1967.

"If the police say they have changed, they need to show it by acknowledging past wrongs," Tatchell said.

The apology comes less than three months after an independent review into the police force, which has over 43,000 officers and staff, deemed it to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

Rowley also said the Met would publish a new plan for LGBT+ Londoners and promised to restore LGBT+ community liaison officers across the capital.

Reporting by Muvija M, Editing by William James
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