My views since I voiced my support of a fellow Police and Crime Commissioner and criticised narrow ideologies of some lobbying groups has been the subject of much debate.
I know it is a highly-emotive subject but I don’t feel that we should shy away from talking about these important issues because of this.
I feel the only way we can progress as a society is to have difficult and challenging conversations, in a respectful manner, and listening to each other’s viewpoint, even if we do not agree with it.
In my statement, I said quite categorically that I believe we should treat every other human being with respect and courtesy irrespective of their sex, gender or sexual orientation. I believe passionately in inclusiveness and diversity.
Irrespective of how certain media outlets or organisations might wish to distort that message, it is important that everyone understands that I firmly want our community, and our workplaces, to be as inclusive, as welcoming and as diverse as they can be.
I want to be clear that I am not opposed to the trans community, or any other of our minority groups, for their hard-won rights. This also includes the rights of women and others to have their voices heard, without being shouted down, when they feel that their security and rights are threatened.
The rights of one community must be carefully considered alongside all others. I want there to be a respected, and respectful, place in our society for all.
I believe passionately that we must treat everyone with due sensitivity and compassion – regardless of sex, gender, orientation, disability or ethnicity.
The underlying ethos of my purpose as PCC is to work collaboratively with Wiltshire Police to ensure they deliver an outstanding police service to Wiltshire and Swindon residents. This includes ensuring our police service is reflective of the communities we serve.
I am, therefore, 100% supportive of their stance as an inclusive employer.
For clarity, let me repeat myself and state once again, I believe in inclusivity and diversity and will treat every individual with care and compassion, including individuals who are experiencing gender issues, are gender fluid or who are in transition.
But I will not support those who use their strength to intimidate those less strong, or to exploit any circumstances to intimidate or harm others.
I will not support those who promote a narrow ideology, and political agenda, that is exclusive or divisive and promotes intolerance.
The police should be above politics as should I, and my office, in the application of the rule of law and justice.
My role as the PCC is to listen to the concerns of ALL of my residents and to respond through the application of the appropriate rule of law and justice provisions to those concerns, while being compassionate and caring to every individual.