North Yorkshire’s emergency services are joining forces on Sunday to celebrate diversity ahead of York and Harrogate Pride.
Officers from North Yorkshire Police will be holding a community engagement event on Parliament Street in York City Centre on Sunday 26 May from 12pm to 4pm, to promote inclusion and diversity within emergency services and give members of the public the opportunity to speak with officers about the force’s recent recruitment drive.
Alongside them will be representatives from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who are going to be promoting river safety and water awareness and recruitment.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to officers and paramedics, get pictures inside their vehicles, try on uniforms and discuss what it is like to work within the emergency services.
The North Yorkshire Police van, painted with the colours of the vibrant rainbow flag, is a fully operational police vehicle which attends police incidents, but is also used by neighbourhood policing teams for local engagement events.
Decked with the Policing with Pride logo, the van also carries messages around hate crime reporting and displays the force’s LGBT network @NYP_LGBT
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue services fire engine, also a fully operational vehicle wrapped in the vibrant rainbow flag, carries the messages ‘pride in North Yorkshire’ and ‘fire doesn’t discriminate, neither do we’.
Speaking ahead of the community engagement event on Sunday 26 May, LGBTQ network member and Neighbourhood Policing Officer for York City Centre, PC Mark Grimes said:
“We chose to have our police van wrapped in the rainbow flag last year to help show that North Yorkshire Police is an inclusive organisation and we are here to protect and represent everyone, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, race, religion or disability.
“We are proud to have a vibrant and motivated LGBTQ network that provides support and advice to officers, staff and volunteers within North Yorkshire Police as well as engaging with our local communities.
“We know that hate crime is an under reported crime and we hope by displaying the colours of the rainbow flag on our van, we encourage those who are discriminated against because of who they are to come forward and report any incidents to us, knowing that they will be listened to and taken seriously.
“We are looking forward to wearing our rainbow flags with Pride at this year’s York and Harrogate Pride events alongside our colleagues from the fire and ambulance services and also meeting with the public at our community event in York this Sunday. If you see us come and say hello!”
Area Manager Stuart Simpson of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service said:
“We are proud as a Service to be taking part in this year’s Pride event again. We believe that our involvement will have a positive impact ensuring people, both staff and members of our community, feel comfortable and are safe to be themselves.
“Last year we had our fire engine wrapped with a Pride design and are pleased to confirm the wrapped appliance will be at the event again this year. Our staff members are looking forward to attending Pride and have planned to support Pride throughout the month of June.
“We are attending Harrogate Pride on the 15th of June which will be a great event too. The 26th will be a great community event and we look forward to speaking to members of the public specifically about water safety and recruitment. If you are attending any of these events please look out for us and come and have a chat!”
Anyone with information about hate crime should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or in an emergency always call 999.
You can also seek advice and guidance from Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire. Visit supportingvictims.org for more information.