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Community Safety

The LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing has a range of services to promote safety in our communities. If you have been a victim of a hate crime, or would simply like information on keeping safe, we are here to support you. We believe that every LGBT person has the right to live freely without the threat of hate crime. Don't suffer in silence - we are here to help!


Community Safety events coming up

These events provide practical advice and safety tips for the LGBT community. Keep an eye on our quarterly programs which are available in the Centre and across Edinburgh to see what we have in our current programme. Alternatively, sign up to our monthly Village Voices newsletter on our mailing list section of the website and be kept up to date.

Coming up in our April-June 2014 programme:

Rural Hate Crime

Monday 12th May, 6.30pm-7.30pm (within our weekly LGBT Drop In)

Meet the Diversity Officer for East- West- and Midlothian and the Borders, discuss LGBT hate crime and how it affects people living in or visiting rural areas


What is hate crime?

A hate crime is any crime where the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity is the motivation behind the crime. As LGBT people, we have the right to live our lives without fear of being harmed in any way due to our sexual orientation or gender identity. So do our family and friends.

Unfortunately, many LGBT people still experience hate crime. The good news is that the law is on your side. In March 2010, the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) Act in Scotland was extended to protect LGBT and disabled people. This means that if you have been victim of hate crime, you have the right to prosecute and the police will support you.

Some examples of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and incidents include:

  • Emotional harm : for example name-calling, verbal abuse, hurtful comments being made about you, being spat at and bullying.

  • Physical and/or sexual harm : including being hit, beaten, pushed, grabbed, groped or kicked.

  • Having your home or belongings targeted with graffiti, vandalism, or theft.

  • Your friends and family being abused or targeted because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Being threatened or intimidated in any way.

  • Any of these crimes committed against someone because they are believed to be LGB or T or because they spend time with people who are LGB or T.

  • Any incident which is not a crime, but is homophobic, biphobic or transphobic. 

Hate crime can happen on the street, in your home, on a night out, and at the workplace. It doesn't matter who has targeted you, or where you are at the time - it is unacceptable, it is illegal, and we can help you challenge it.

If you are an LGBT person who has been targeted due to your disability, race or religion, we will support you.



Services we offer


LGBT Helpline

Our helpline offers emotional support and practical information for victims of LGBT hate crime. You can also remote report any incident and we will help guide you through the process. The helpline is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 12pm - 9pm, on 0131 556 4049.


Remote Reporting

If you have experienced a hate crime and you do not want to speak to the police directly, you can report it through us at the Centre and we‘ll do the rest. You can decide whether or not you want the incident investigated further, and it is your choice whether you want to leave your name and personal details or not. It is important that all hate crime is reported so that the police can monitor the areas where hate crime is rising and help make our community safer.


Information and support

Our staff can provide individual support if you have experienced hate crime, including talking through what happened, personal safety tips and reporting options and other sources of support.  We are here for you when you need us. Call George on 0131 652 3281 for support.


Police Surgery

Our Police Surgery takes place at the Centre during the LGBT Drop-in on the first Monday of the month from 6.30-7.30pm. This offers the opportunity to seek advice, raise concerns around safety issues, report incidents or make any comments on policing in your area to local police officers. The setting is relaxed and informal and there is no need to set up an appointment in advance - just come along. 


Counselling

We offer a free counselling service for LGBT people. If you have been affected by hate crime and would like to speak with a qualified LGBT-friendly counsellor, let us know and we will place you on the waiting list. Contact Fiona at fiona@lgbthealth.org.uk or on 0131 652 3285 for more information.


Other remote reporting and support available to LGBT people in Edinburgh


LGBT Youth Scotland
The Citadel
39-40 Commercial Street
Edinburgh
EH6 6JD
Tel: 0131 555 3940

We are here for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people, and know that being LGB or T can sometimes be difficult. We are committed to empowering young people and can provide support and advice if you are thinking about making a report to the police or can if you prefer make this report for you. We will respect your decisions and your confidentiality. LGBT Youth Scotland is working towards the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in the life of Scotland.


Gay Men's Health
10a Union Street
Edinburgh EH1 3LU
Tel: 0131 558 9444

Gay Men's Health exists to improve the physical mental emotional, social and sexual health of all gay and bisexual men living in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We provide a free and confidential counselling service, and also a remote reporting service allowing you if you wish to make an anonymous report without direct police contact.


ROAM
Spittal Street Centre
22-24 Spittal Street
Edinburgh EH3 9DU
Tel: 0131 537 8300

ROAM provides a confidential service for men who have sex with men and male sex workers throughout Edinburgh and Lothian. Work is carried out in a variety of settings including chat rooms, cruising areas, drop in, saunas, clients' homes and an outreach bus.


Gay Police Association

7 Chambers Street
Edinburgh
Tel: 07776 471 871

National staff association that specifically represents the needs and interests of lesbian, gay and bisexual police employees in the United Kingdom.


Some helpful guides on Hate Crime:

Equality and Human Rights Commission Hate Crime Manual

ACPOS Hate Crime Manual