The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is committed to making London safer for everyone and to providing services and a response that meets the needs of its citizens. We recognise and acknowledge that within some communities, people are 'marginalised' due to conflicts of their sexual orientation and cultural backgrounds. All too often finding themselves placed in having to make difficult life choices in order to be the individual they are.

The MPS understands that previously, many people from diverse community backgrounds have been nervous about engaging with the police and for some years now has been working closely with these groups to build their trust and confidence in our organisation. We have a dynamic partnership with our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Advisory Group, and have encouraged the formation of Citizen Focused partnerships to aid our learning and ensure our delivery reaches all communities within London. We have worked hard to professionalise the role of LGBT Liaison Officers so that LGBT victims of crime can expect a friendly face when it matters most.

Therefore it gives me great pleasure to be in a position to offer support on behalf of the MPS to all those who are involved with this years’ GayWise LGBT Arts Festival. The event will not only help engage LGBT communities to reflect on their personal and organisational contributions but will provide public recognition of their work as LGBT artists and help them to recognise and celebrate the huge steps which have been steadily taken for the improvement of all LGBT lives.

We hope you take the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the Metropolitan Police officers and staff who will be attending a number of the festivals’ events.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable festival.

Alfred Hitchcock
Deputy Assistant Commissioner
September 2007