The Greater Manchester Police will now enable their officers to record domestic violence that happens between LGBT couples.
The Manchester police force will now have a new code at their disposal, D66, which will be used whenever a LGBT person calls the police and will be marked as having come from an LGBT person/relationship in their official logs.
The D66 code is the first of it’s kind to register the sexual orientation and gender identity of the person filing a complaint.
Detective Constable Sarah Harris said: “There were certain groups that were underreporting and we looked at how that could be assisted. One of the things that came up was that we don’t have any figures to show how many [LGBT] people report domestic abuse to the police.”
There won’t be widespread use of the code at first, though, as it will have a six month trial period in the city centre, north and south of Manchester, and it if it succeeds it will have a complete rollout across all of Greater Manchester.
Harris continued: ““This is another strong step in the right direction in dispelling some myths. It gives people the confidence to report crimes in the knowledge that it will be dealt with appropriately – we want to encourage victims and friends and family of victims to report the issue and have the confidence to come forward.”
The LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow said that many people avoid reporting incidents to the police because they would have to come out. However, they went through training with the Greater Manchester police which gave them “detailed understanding of the complexities of domestic abuse within same-sex relationships.”
Emma Baldry, the charity’s training coordinator, said: “This new code will enable Greater Manchester police to collect data that will give us a more accurate picture of the extent of LGBT domestic abuse in the Greater Manchester area … and hopefully other forces across the UK will follow their lead.”