As news broke about the attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, some members of the Lambeth LGBT+ Community Network were involved in organising the London Stands with Orlando vigil that took place in Soho as well as diseminating information to the community through our social media.
Thanks to our Lambeth LGBT Liaison Officer (PC David Brunton) we were kept in touch with what was going on. David asked us to circulate the statements below from Inspector Roy Smith and the Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Richard Wood.
David, along with other Police LGBT Liaison Officers helped with the policing of the London Stands With Orlando vigil, and other LGBT officers in other Police Services supported other solidarity events around the UK.
On Tuesday 14th June some members of the London Stands with Orlando organising group met with Met Police Chief Bernard Hogan-Howe who thanked the team for organising the vigil. He said that met figures for the vigil estimated over 7,500 people attended the event and that there was not a single reported incident during the evening. Mark Healey (Co-chair Lambeth LGBT+ Community Network/founder of 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign asked that PC Tatjana Arsoba (Westminster’s full-time LGBT Police Liaison Officer) be commendated for her role working with the LGBT community. She and her sucessor PC Gareth Roberts helped brief volunteer who answered the call to help at St Anne’s Church. Jeremy Jospeh (G.A.Y. Buisness Owner) asked the Commisoner to organise a meeting with representatives from LGBT businesses and community organisations.
The Metropolitan Police Service quickly organised a meeting of LGBT Businesses and community organisations at the Heaven Nightclub on Friday 17th June. The meeting was addressed by Met Police Chief Bernard Hogan-Howe, followed by Commander Mak Chishty who has responsibility for tackling hate crime across London and Commander David Musker who has responsibility for policing the Pride in London event over the weekend 25th/26th June. They were followed by Michael Salter (Pride in London) and then a presentation by two officers from the Counter Terrorism Team.
A further statement from the Metropolitan Police Service is included below.
Thanks to the National LGBT Hate Crime Network
which consists of 35 members around the UK we were also able to get updates about the other vigils taking place. More information on the Consortium website here
Message from Chief Inspector Roy Smith
Please see below a brief message circulated by our borough commander this morning.
I am aware that this will be a particularly difficult time for members of the LGBT community and recognise some of the concerns that you have raised with us in relation to your venues and customers.
I have asked for additional patrols to be conducted at all of our major LGBT venues this week and over the weekend including specific engagement visits by our team of LGBT liaison officers. In addition I have asked for additional reassurance patrols to be organised over the Pride weekend. I must stress that this is not in response to any specific information or intelligence.
I am very happy for suggestions as to any other steps you feel might be appropriate to take and would ask for you to contact PC David Brunton directly.
I have also asked for us to take the opportunity to ensure our local borough engagement structures are as effective as they can be and I am more than happy to attend the next meeting for the Lambeth LGBT forum personally to discuss any concerns.
Finally I would ask that your teams are reminded that it continues to be vital they are alert and not alarmed. Further guidance in the highly unlikely event of an attack in the UK is available here:
My thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with those who are affected by this terrible incident – there is no place for hate in our communities.
Lambeth Borough HQ
LX – Lambeth
To: Lambeth community representatives
From: Chief Superintendent Richard Wood
Topic: Orlando shootings
Details of incident
You will no doubt have seen the news covering the tragic events in Orlando yesterday. Our thoughts are with the victims, friends, families and loved ones of those involved.
Now, as ever, it is important we are united as communities and send a clear message that there is no place for hatred in our world.
Over the coming week we will have additional patrols in and around our busy night-time economies and our team of LGBT liaison officers will be conducting reassurance and engagement visits amongst the LGBT community and venues.
I am not aware of any specific information or intelligence which relates to our local area, but will of course keep you updated as the situation develops.
As ever if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions, please do feel free to contact me or my staff office.
Chief Superintendent Richard Wood
Borough Commander – Lambeth “LX”
The Metropolitan Police Service and Pride in London have published a joint open letter to those attending the annual Pride event next Saturday, 25 June.
The letter is being issued in the wake of the Orlando shooting to provide reassurance to the LGBT community; and follows a meeting hosted by the Met earlier today, Friday 17 June, at Heaven nightclub which was opened by the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
This briefing, for representatives of the LGBT and business communities, included up-to-date information regarding the threat level, and protective security advice designed to reduce vulnerability.
Invited delegates had the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns not only with the Commissioner, but also Commander Mak Chishty, MPS lead for community engagement, and Commander Dave Musker who is responsible for the policing operation for Pride.
Open letter from the Metropolitan Police Service and LGBT+ Pride in London
On Saturday 25 June, LGBT+ Pride in London will hold its annual parade in central London.
This is a unique event celebrating London’s diverse communities, which the Metropolitan Police Service has proudly supported for many years. A record number of groups are registered to participate in the parade, including more than a hundred Met officers and colleagues from police forces around the UK.
Whilst the tragic events in Orlando last weekend have caused huge shock and concern across the world, there is no intelligence to suggest an increased threat to the Pride parade in London. Police have been working closely with Pride in London for some months in planning for this event. As a matter of course, the security plan has been reviewed and the situation is continuously monitored and remains under review.
The Met Police and Pride in London recognise that people in the LGBT+ and wider community may have increased concerns at this time. Therefore, to help provide additional reassurance and to show support for the Pride event, the Met Police will have an increased visible policing presence at the parade and in Soho. There will be a proportionate policing plan in place on the day and Pride in London is also providing additional stewarding.
We encourage those who wish to show their support for – and stand in unity with – the LGBT+ community to come and watch the parade and attend festival events, all details can be found on http://www.prideinlondon.org We hope that everyone attending Pride in London 2016 has a safe and enjoyable day.
Signed by Commander Mak Chishty QPM on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service and Micahel Salter-Church MBE Chair of Pride in London.
Police officers at Pride in 2015 (Photograph: Mark Nortcliff)
LGBT Officers and colleagues will be marching in the Pride in London Parade on Saturday 25th June 2016.