JK Rowling mocks tweet about police’s LGBT+ outreach efforts near site of homophobic murder

JK Rowling and the LGBT+ community outreach stall

JK Rowling mocked a tweet about a police force carrying out LGBT+ community outreach efforts near the site of a brutal homophobic murder.

South Wales Police’s LGBT+ network set up an information kiosk complete with rainbow police cards in Cardiff city centre on Friday (18 March) to showcase their specialist work tackling anti-LGBT+ hate crime and promotion inclusion and diversity.

The community outreach efforts were taking place near Bute Park where just last year bisexual doctor Gary Jenkins was brutally beaten, robbed and killed in a homophobic attack.

Comments from anti-LGBT+ trolls soon began to roll in, with Twitter users accusing South Wales Police of “virtue signalling” and wasting cars that should be on patrol.

The police force responded: “Supporting our communities is not virtual [sic] signalling and we make no apologies for doing so.”

The simple typo induced even more ridicule, including from JK Rowling.

Apparently mocking South Wales Police’s outreach as insincere, on Monday (21 March) she tweeted: “Virtual signalling. Like virtue signalling, but for people who couldn’t be arsed.”

Many were quick to condemn Rowling’s tweet, suggesting that mocking a police force carrying out vital LGBT+ outreach near the site of a homophobic murder was inappropriate.

Three people were convicted of murdering Jenkins, who was attacked in the early hours of 20 July 2021. He was beaten so badly that he suffered a brain injury and died 16 days later.

Luke Young, head of policy and campaigns for Citizens Advice Cymru, pointed out that the outreach was specifically requested by the local LGBT+ community at a vigil after Jenkins’ death.

“At Dr Gary Jenkins’ vigil we called for the police to be visible allies, to work with the local community and to protect all identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella,” he tweeted.

“Keep going South Wales Police. Once again, JK Rowling doesn’t speak for us.”

A spokesperson for South Wales Police told PinkNews: “South Wales Police is proud to serve all communities that it serves.

“On 18 March 2022, officers attended Cardiff city centre as part of an engagement initiative to encourage reporting of hate crime.

“The lights on the car are for display purposes only and were used as part of the engagement event. The car is not a marked response vehicle and has no lights or sirens for this purpose.”

JK Rowling declined to comment.