Gardaí have launched a massive crime prevention campaign aimed at encouraging members of the gay community to report any homophobic incidents.
The “Be Proud – Be Safe” campaign was launched to coincide with the Gay Pride celebrations to give personal safety advice to members of the gay community.
Deputy Garda Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald said a poster, leaflet and business card campaign would be launched alongside advertisements by An Garda Siochána in a number of gay magazines.
Mr Fitzgerald said the 16 gardaí would work as liaison officers with the gay community, encouraging victims to report homophobic incidents.
The Garda Community Relations Service, which is based in Harcourt Square, has also dealt with cases of gay people who were blackmailed for sums of up to €10,000.
Gay people, who have not told their married partners, families or work colleagues about their sexuality, are being blackmailed by their former partners and are terrified by threats to ’out’ them.
Garda Inspector Finbarr Murphy, who is a liaison officer to the gay and lesbian community, said last month that the force was dealing with three to four blackmail cases each year.
The 16 Garda liaison officers for the gay community are based in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Waterford, Dundalk and Athlone.