Police relations with the gay and lesbian community are better in Scotland than in California, according to a recent study.
The investigation was undertaken by advisor to the Northern Constabulary, Lisa Buchanan, who last year spent over four months with the San Francisco Police Department and the University of California.
Buchanan focused her study on San Francisco’s Bay area, because of its thriving gay and lesbian community.
She told Northern Constabulary’s e-magazine that she was particularly interested in the story of Harvey Milk, credited with being the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in a major US city, who was assassinated in 1978.
Buchanan said that she wanted to see how relations with the gay community had changed in California since the 70s.
She said, “In terms of investigating homophobic hate incidents, their approach is comparable to ours, yet there are much fewer victims coming forward and I think this is a reflection of the strategic approach to community engagement.
“In Scotland, and the north, I think we enjoy much better community relations than they do in San Francisco”.
Northern Constabulary’s chief constable, Ian Latimer, pledged in 2009 that combating hat crime would be central to Scottish policing.