BYLINE: NATASHA JOSEPH
THE police's National Inspectorate will take "decisive action" against police officers who are found guilty of mocking or intimidating gay people who try to report homophobic hate crimes, says a national police spokesperson.
This strong warning comes as gay rights organisation the Triangle Project says that in many cases of gay hate crimes, complainants are "not taken seriously" by police because of officers' prejudices.
And a top constitutional lawyer says "many" gay men and lesbians have approached him for help after reporting homophobic attacks to the police - because they say police officers "laugh at them", call them "perverts" and suggest that they have no right to complain about hate crimes.
National police spokesperson Selby Bokaba said that any homophobic behaviour by police officers was "regrettable ... it goes against the ethos of the organisation".
Gay people who felt police officers had acted against them in a biased manner "must come forward and report" these incidents to the police's National Inspectorate, he said.
He said the National Inspectorate would "take decisive action" against police found guilty of homophobia, and guilty officers would be "charged with misconduct". …