Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Step in the Right Direction

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Step in the Right Direction

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Sutton

Gay, lesbian and transsexual people who are attacked on Teesside have been told they can expect greater understanding and support from the police.

The Cleveland force wants to improve its relations with the gay community and the efforts have been applauded by support worker Lesley Duggan.

Lesley helps lesbian and bisexual women on Teesside and said many in the gay community feel intimidated and scared about expressing their sexuality.

But she attended a conference at Ladgate Lane headquarters last week where officers pledged to offer a greater level of support.

The meeting drew officers from across the country who gave advice on how they dealt with gay and lesbian issues in Blackpool and London.

Lesley said: "I think the gay community is larger than we are aware but the confidence has to be worked on. It's a difficult issue and it's a challenging one.

"Many people don't feel confident about their sexuality in this area and we are losing a lot of young people who don't feel they are welcome so they go elsewhere. …

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