NEW figures show that police officers who identify as gay or lesbian make up less than 4 per cent of the workforce in the Dorset constabulary.

In Dorset Police there are 18 gay/lesbian officers (3.5 per cent), 14 bisexual officers (2.7 per cent) and one (0.2 per cent) listed as “other”.

The total workforce, including those whose sexuality is unknown, is 1,329 officers. Some 67.3 per cent of the workforce is described as male.

A total of 485 officers are recorded as heterosexual, equating to 93.6 per cent of the workforce where sexuality is recorded. A total of 39 per cent of the workforce has its sexuality recorded.

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The percentages relate only to where an officer has their sexuality recorded – either heterosexual, gay/lesbian, bisexual, prefer to self-describe, or other.

Inspector Alyssa Forrest, Dorset Police LGBT+ Support Network Chair said: "Dorset Police has an active LGBT+ support network that offers support to officers and staff and provides a voice in challenging under-representation, tackling discrimination and improving our understanding of LGBT+ issues.

"The Force has a team called Positive Action, which sets out to recruit a more diverse workforce at every level and from all parts of society. The team is very active in championing diversity and supporting and encouraging a diverse group of staff and officers. You can read more about the team on its website here:

"For LGBT+ history month, we shared internal comms with all staff in support and recognition of the month. We were also active on social media. In July, the Force will participate in Bournemouth Pride, which we support every year."

The data is the most contemporaneous available under Freedom of Information Act requests made to police forces in England and Wales in November 2021.