Stephanie's fight against gay hate

A Police Community Support Officer has taken on a new role to help the local gay community fight hate crime.

PCSO Stephanie Smith volunteered for the role of lesbian, gay, bi, transgender liaison officer for Eastbourne Police.

She put herself forward at the beginning of the year when Sussex Police introduced a number of minority group liaison officer roles.

PCSO Smith said, " I find it amazing that in this day and age the LGBT community are still suffering with hate crime related issues which need to be stopped."

Stephanie is urging anyone experiencing homophobic-related incidents due to their sexual orientation to come forward and make a stand.

She said, "Receiving gay-related jibes at a bar in the town has prompted me to write this so that people experiencing similar problems can feel they can report it in confidence.

"It is not always easy to know what to do or how to report such incidents so I will be distributing the True Vision Hate Crime packs to all bars and clubs in the Eastbourne area.

"These provide a quick and convenient way to report any problems you may have. "We need to spread awareness that anyone acting in a homophobic manner will be dealt positively by Sussex Police together with bar/club staff and will be ejected.

"Pubs and clubs need to be vigilant as to what is going on in their venues and not turn a blind eye."

PCSO Smith will be holding monthly surgeries at the Hart Pub on Cavendish Place and if you wish to make contact, please call on 0845 60 70 999 or e-mail: stephanie.smith@sussex.pnn.police.uk