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The OPCC Pledges Support for Bi Visibility Day
For the second year running, the OPCC and the Hertfordshire Constabulary have pledged their support for Bi Visibility Day.
 
Now in its 18th year, Bi Visibility Day is an international campaign which has been marked since 1999 to provide a platform for the bisexual community to raise awareness of the social, economic and cultural prejudices they can face.
 
Findings from a recent report, which was published by LGBT rights charity Stonewall, found that bisexual people often failed to access initiatives put in place to support them. This is due to being confronted with biphobic assumptions and double discrimination because people thought they must be either gay or straight.
 
Those surveyed as part of the report mentioned that they were constantly questioned about their sexuality in a work setting, had fears around coming out due to disapproval from fellow colleagues, or being re-categorised as lesbian, gay or heterosexual, despite coming out as bisexual.
 
Whilst most workplaces have made significant progress implementing robust policies and initiatives to make lesbian and gay members of staff feel included and supported, this hadn’t always followed through in the same way for bisexual people.  As a result of these issues, many bisexual people choose to remain invisible.
 
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner David Gibson joined the temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Bill Jephson and Force Lead for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues, Chief Superintendent Matthew Nicholls, to show support for Bi Visibility Day at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on September 23rd.

Mr Gibson said: “The Constabulary will always have the responsibility to reflect the community it serves to ensure we are meeting Hertfordshire’s diverse needs.  The OPCC will continue to support Bi Visibility Day as it is crucial that the force’s bisexual officers have a voice, are supported when necessary and should not feel they have to hide their true selves away.”
 
T/Deputy Chief Constable Bill Jephson added: “I was delighted to take part today in formally recognising Bi Visibility Day for the second year running as we are determined that the Constabulary fully supports equality and diversity by eliminating discrimination, prejudice and offering equal opportunities to all. The work the force has been undertaking to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities, both in and outside the Constabulary over the past year is very much inclusive of bisexual communities and we wanted to use today as a platform to make that clear.
 
Force Lead for LGBT Chief Superintendent Matthew Nicholls, said: “We are aware that members of our bisexual workforce can be more invisible than their fellow colleagues and we are keen to continue to work towards this not being the case in the future.”
 
The day was also supported by the Chair of the Herts Police LGBT Network, PC Mark Smith, and Committee Member, Sergeant Steve Alison.