Blog | Introduction of Network Co-Chair – Police Constable Steph Lawrence
On Friday 24th February 2023 the National LGBT+ Police Network held their Annual General Meeting which included a vote to elect a network Co-Chair. The Co-Chair position held by Amy Tapping had come to the end of its tenure and so an election was undertaken via written expressions of interest which were shared prior to the meeting.
During the AGM, votes were cast by the Regional Representatives on behalf of the LGBT+ Networks that they represent, and Police Constable Steph Lawrence of Gloucestershire Police was successful. Steph says:
I have been a police officer for 17 years, and a public servant for 28 years. In every service I’ve worked I have had involvement with staff networks, so it seemed natural to continue this in policing. I started chairing my local LGBT+ network in 2015, I received an award from our local pride organisation for services to the public in 2018. For me stepping up and helping to lead the network is more of a moral and ethical duty as opposed to one of personal interest, or organisational gain. I am a huge believer that if you serve others well you will receive ultimate fulfilment. I fully understand the pain caused by discrimination and other adverse behaviours, this personal history drives me forward in doing more to support others, with a determined will to minimise the harm caused to all involved.
I applied for my current national position because I really wanted to make a difference in policing, as I now enter into the last quarter of my policing career – although I’m not going anywhere soon. It is important we ensure we have the right people in policing, I do know & have confidence that most of our people are decent to the core. It is vitally important we make policing an unwelcome place for the harm doers and those who behave in a prejudicial manner towards others. I could not be more determined in my day to day role in making this happen.
I’m delighted to be working with such a remarkable, professional, resilient, & knowledgeable group of colleagues, who I know will help me to raise our people higher when they feel downtrodden, undervalued & personally attacked. There are times when I do stumble, but for some reason I always manage to find my feet and pick myself back up again – with even more gusto & determination. Let us raise everyone higher, to be the very best they can be, which will ultimately deliver the best possible service to the public! Not only do I consider this appointment a significant personal challenge, but the greatest honour of my professional working life.