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J-FLAG says gays gaining confidence in the police

Published:Thursday | February 20, 2014 | 7:14 AM

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is reporting what appears to be growing confidence in the police among the groups it serves.



J-FLAG says more lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) Jamaicans are beginning to report harassment to the police.



According to J-FLAG’s executive director, Dane Lewis, almost half of the 63 reports to the organisation from LGBT people last year were also reported to the police.



He says this is a significant increase compared with 2012.



Lewis says the reports related to physical attacks, threats, intimidation, blackmail, sexual violence, discrimination, displacement and murder.



According to him, half of these incidents occurred in Kingston & St Andrew and St James.



St Catherine, Clarendon and Manchester reportedly accounted for a significant portion of the remaining 50 per cent.



J-LAG says it continues to benefit from an improved working relationship with the police year after year.



It also says the police, on several occasions, have served and protected LGBT people from angry mobs and in some cases, they have called to give J-FLAG information about incidents that have happened.



But J-FLAG is cautioning that the number of reports is hardly representative saying more sensitization and capacity building needs to be done with the police around human rights, especially in relation to their diversity policy.



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