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British Transport Police provide extra patrols for Sparkle weekend


Sparkle 2017

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British Transport Police has enhanced its support for this weekend’s Sparkle celebration by providing extra policing on late night services between Manchester and Leeds.
As the city gears up for the 12th annual Sparkle event, the biggest transgender celebration in the world, British Transport Police has pledged to increase its presence to provide reassurance to visitors to the city.

As part of the force’s hate crime campaign We Stand Together, officers will patrol four dedicated Sparkle friendly trains in partnership with TransPennine Express on Saturday night to ensure visitors feel safe and reassured when they travel.

The high visibility patrols, along with engagement stalls at Manchester Piccadilly station and at the event itself at Sackville Gardens, will promote the campaign which focuses on inclusion and diversity.
Also new this year will be the debut of the force’s newly liveried We Stand Together police vehicles along with a visit from BTP’s dog section whose newest recruits will be meeting and greeting Sparkle goers at the station.

Manchester Chief Inspector Andrea Graham said: “This year promises to be the biggest and best Sparkle yet and once again we’re proud to be a part of it. We’ve stepped up our commitment to the event by enhancing our presence with high visibility patrols as well as engagement throughout the weekend.
“We continue to work hand in hand with trans communities and Sparkle presents another opportunity to strengthen these links. 
“We’ll be debuting Manchester’s #WeStandTogether police vehicle and we’ll have dedicated officers patrolling trains out of the city in partnership with our friends at TransPennine Express.

“Manchester is well known for its warm welcome and we’ll be on hand at the station and at the event itself to help everyone celebrate a sparkling weekend.
“In the unlikely event that anyone does experience or witness hate crime they should report it by texting us on 61016, calling us on 0800 40 50 40 or by speaking to an officer.
“No one should have to tolerate abuse or violence or be made to feel intimidated because of who they are – we simply won’t stand for it. Everyone has the right to be themselves and feel safe. 

“Our officers will be on the lookout for anyone who engages in hate crime or prejudicial behaviour and will take appropriate steps to deal with offenders. Your safety is our priority and we want everyone to enjoy this spectacular weekend.”

Diversity and inclusion manager for BTP, Barry Boffy said: “Sparkle is a massive occasion for British Transport Police and one we look forward to every year. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to stand together with the trans community to promote acceptance and send out the message that we won’t tolerate hate crime. It’s not a crime to be different but it is a crime to abuse or intimidate someone because of who they are. Our uniqueness is something that should be celebrated and we want everyone to shine at Sparkle.”

A spokesman for TransPennine Express said: “TransPennine Express are pleased to support BTP’s We Stand Together campaign, offering four ‘Sparkle friendly’ trains back towards Leeds from Manchester on Saturday night. We hope that everyone heading into the city for the celebration has a fantastic time.”


Notes to editors:
British Transport Police are running dedicated Sparkle friendly trains from Manchester back to Leeds in partnership with TransPennine Express on the Saturday evening. 
These are:
19.42 TransPennine Express from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds
20.42 TransPennine Express from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds
23:21 TransPennine Express from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds
23:41 TransPennine Express from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds

BTP officers will be on board providing high visibility reassurance patrols to passengers.

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