Sussex

Sussex Police apology over hate crime letter

Rachel Dios Image copyright Rachel Dios
Image caption Rachel Dios reported the verbal abuse she received from a group of men in Chichester

A nurse who reported a transphobic hate crime has received an apology from the chief constable of Sussex Police after the force addressed her as "Mr".

Rachel Dios was sent a letter addressed to "Mr Dios" after she reported an incident of verbal abuse by a group of men in Chichester, West Sussex.

She shared the letter on Facebook and Twitter, saying: "I think you need to review your response."

Chief Constable Giles York replied: "I'm so sorry we got this wrong."

Image copyright Rachel Dios
Image caption The letter from Sussex Police was addressed to Mr Rachel Dios

Ms Dios, a ward manager for Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, was on her way to Brighton to an awards ceremony when the men called out to her.

"I was walking down South Street when five or six middle-aged gentleman started shouting out, 'It's a man, it's a man," she said.

"I politely told them where to get off but it escalated."

She carried on walking towards Chichester station and the men walked off.

"I think it is important hate crime is reported," she said.

"I was concerned these men appeared intoxicated."

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Chief Constable Giles York tweeted an apology to Rachel Dios

Ms Dios, who is co-chair of Sussex Partnership LGBT Staff Network, was happy with the decision of Sussex Police that it was not in the public interest to follow up her complaint.

But she was concerned to receive the letter on Wednesday.

"I am happy to stand up for the trans community but for anyone living in multiple occupancy accommodation they would have been outed," she said.

"A mistake is not acceptable.

"The first thing with any trans individual is to ask them how they would like to be addressed - how do they identify - especially when they are reporting a hate crime."

Sussex Police hate crime officer Sgt Peter Allan said: "We are really grateful that Rachel made us aware of this mistake.

"We recognise our letter was incorrectly addressed and we have spoken to Rachel personally to apologise for our error.

"She was very understanding and we have taken steps to make sure the same mistake doesn't happen again."

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