Steven Hughes (left),
Angela Gilraine (centre) and
Sir Paul Scott-Lee cut the pink ribbon to inaugurate the
'help point' in the gay village.
BIRMINGHAM, May 12, 2008 — “Let’s
see if it works,” the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police said once the
pink ribbon had been cut to inaugurate an emergency ‘help point’ in
Birmingham’s Gay Village.
Pressing the big red button, Sir
Paul Scott-Lee only had to wait a few seconds for a voice to ask: “can I
“This is the Chief Constable, and I
just testing to see if it works,” Sir Paul said.
“Yes, it’s working perfectly … and
you are looking grand, sir,” came the reply from the police CCTV control
The new emergency ‘help point’ is
the first in Birmingham’s Southside where the gay village is located. And
combined with the closed circuit television system, it provides those in the
the bustling ‘village that never sleeps’ an added sense of safety.
Steven Hughes, the chief executive
of the Birmingham City Council who financed the project, said that the new
‘help point’ will provide reassurance to the community.
He said that the council had worked
in partnership with the police and Pink Shield, a new community group in the
village that works closely with the police.
“The installation of the help point
is an excellent piece of partnership work,” said Angela Gilraine, chair of Pink
“I hope it will provide extra
security for everyone visiting the gay village and encourage people to
report all crime, including hate crime, to the police.”
Sir Paul pointed out that today’s
Birmingham was a “high energy” city.
“What the help point does is to
help make people safe.”
He praised the work done by Pink
Shield, a group that really represents the community.
“I have no fears about this new
facility being misused,” he said, adding that similar schemes in the country
had few instances of misuse.
West Midlands Police are keen to
hear the views of the gay community on policing and how safe they feel in
the area they live, work or play in.
An anonymous online survey for
people to give their views can be found
of Gays, Lesbians Do Matter, Say Police as Survey is Launched
Gay Birmingham 'Travel Page'
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.
Posted: 12 May 2008 at
20:00 (UK time)