LGBT History Month in Kent, a new celebration was supported by Cohesion Plus. To mark the occasion Gurvinder Sandher of Cohesion Plus, gave a speech at North Kent Police Station on 27th March 2009.

“We have celebrated Black History Month in Kent for many years; this year for the first time I am pleased that Cohesion Plus is involved in the celebrations to mark LGBT History Month.  Both celebrations at the heart of them are very similar, about celebrating the achievements of the local BME and LGBT communities and the journey of how we have got to where we are today,” he said.

“I am aware of some of the unfair recent criticism which was directed at Kent Police for some of their actives which were planned for LGBT month.  Personally I believe that events like this are very important, not because I am someone who is into politically correct culture but rather because there is still a lot that can be learnt about some of the challenges and issues faced by members of the LGBT community.  For example according to Stonewall 1 in 5 people has been a victim of homophobic hate crime in the last 5 years.  1 in 5, this is a worrying figure and underlines the importance of teaching tolerance and respect,” he added.

“Kent Police are one of the leading lights when it comes to equality and diversity.  Not because I feel they have an obsession with political correctness but more to so with the fact that they are interested in the local communities they serve and they are striving to make a positive difference.  Look here in North Kent, the hate crime detection rates are not only the best in Kent but one of the best in the Country.  Kent Police have also recently come 4th in the National Stonewall Index for organisations who employ gay people.  This was a jump of some 22 places over the previous 12 months,” he highlighted.

“Here in North Kent we have always prided ourselves on our positive community relations.  We here at the REC are committed to working in partnership with the Police and the local community to ensure Kent is a safer place to live and work in.  By working together, side by side we can continue to foster positive community relations and ensure all the different sections of the community be they black, white, gay, straight, young or old all get the SAME RESPECT,” he concluded.