Uniformed PSNI to take part in Belfast Pride parade for second year
Uniformed PSNI officers will take part in the Belfast Pride parade for the second time ever.
Police confirmed they would be taking part during an event on hate crime held at Ulster University's York Street campus on Tuesday night, held as part of the Belfast Pride Festival.
In earlier years officers had taken part in the parade but not in uniform.
Speaking to the BBC, Superintendent Emma Bond said: "We know that visibility, that outreach, that opportunity for engagement and to reinforce our messaging around hate crime is an opportunity. And that’s why we are taking part.
"From a hate crime perspective what we saw in the month of August was an increase in terms of reporting and I genuinely believe that out increased visibility and our participation enabled people to come forward and report incidents to police."
Around 1% of PSNI staff are members are gay, while no members are registered as being transgender.
The PSNI has said it is actively seeking to increase diversity in its ranks, and will be undertaking recruitment activity during the event on Saturday.
In 2017, members of An Garda Siochana accepted an invitation to take part in the parade alongside the PSNI.
The Belfast Pride parade will take place on Saturday August 4 leaving Custom House at 1pm with build up starting from 11.30am.
Belfast Telegraph Digital