Hampshire Constabulary Chief receives Stonewall ‘Champion of the Year’ award

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The Chief Constable for Hampshire’s Constabulary has been named Stonewall’s Individual Champion of the Year for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Alex Marshall will be recognised in the charity’s Workplace Equality Index for his commitment to progress for LGB communities and officers at a ceremony in London on Wednesday evening.

In particular, Mr Marshall supports the force’s LGBT Resource Group and Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers. He has ensured the constabulary is represented by a senior officer at Brighton and Hove Pride each year. He is the force’s Fairness and Equality Champion and has been previously recognised as a ‘Straight Ally’ by Stonewall.

Mr Marshall spoke of his work with the constabulary: “I’m proud of the work we do with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The force has around 100 Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers and recently has done some great work with football clubs to eradicate homophobia both on and off the pitch.”

Mr Marshall added: “When I started 33 years ago there was a small but significantly vocal minority of people in policing who were dismissive or even derogatory about members of the public or colleagues who were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. I don’t believe we gave the service people deserved or did as much to understand individual needs as should have done.

“I have no doubt that coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual in the workplace was extremely difficult and problematic and brought with it risks in terms of personal reputation and career progression.”

The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is an annual assessment based on staff surveys and employer responses. Police forces have placed highly in the list several times in recent years.