Sunday, 2 November 2008

Qld: $80,000 to track homophobic hate crimes

The Brisbane Times is reporting that the Queensland Government is now to pay $80,000 to an academic from Griffith University, Alan Berman, to track the amount of homophobic hate crime in Queensland.

Good move too.

This move came directly after Qnews published a story in which Queensland police were lambasted for failing to pick up hate crime, quoting several community figures, including renowned advocates Shelley Argent from PFLAG and Paul Martin from Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (formerly the Qld Aids Council).

On Friday, in my role as legal writer for Qnews, I accompanied publisher Ray Mackereth and editor Toby Longhurst in meeting Queensland police hierarchy to try and calm the waters. The message from Qnews was simple- we are but the messengers of a not very palatable message: Queensland police need to do more, a lot more.

The message from police was encouraging, including:
  • the State LGBTI liaison officer had left, and been replaced;
  • to ensure hate crimes are recorded statistically, and
  • that LGBTI liaison officers are properly trained in LGBTI issues.

Another meeting is planned in a week or two.

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