A Tribute to Michael Todd

Publish Date: 12/03/2008

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation would like to pay tribute to Michael Todd, who for the last six years as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, worked with colleagues to tackle hate crime and helped to improve policing with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the region.

Representing the second-largest police force in the UK, in a region with one of the largest LGBT populations in the country, Mr. Todd made sure he visited the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in 2003, a year after he took office.

At an open forum Mr. Todd answered questions on force attitudes and initiatives to an invited audience from all sections of the LGBT community and made it quite clear that he intended to work in partnership with all communities. At the forum he said he could only improve services across the region by working with local people and stated that he was always willing to hear from anyone who would like to share their views on how to improve services in their area.

Anxious that GMP's work with LGBT communities was not just a response to ever changing legislation, Michael Todd was always working towards a police force that provides a fair and equal service to everyone.

Services and support to LGBT people

Mr. Todd was keen to further develop services and support initiatives aimed at increasing the reach of GMP such as the long running weekly Police Drop-in Surgery for lesbian, gay and bisexual people which takes place every Thursday evening at the offices of LGF in Manchester's gay village.

The Chief Constable also put out an appeal very early on stating that he wanted to see many more LGBT Police Officers within the force. In fact, GMP was the first force in the country to have a dedicated full time member of staff to represent LGBT employees.

He supported police officers by marching in lesbian and gay Pride parades, and welcomed the 2003 EuroPride celebrations, which took place in Manchester.

Mr. Todd was in charge of the service when GMP joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, which promotes lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in the workplace. In 2008 GMP was placed joint 43rd on the list of top 100 employers for gay people in the Stonewall Work Equality Index. Greater Manchester Police was also frequently voted best police force in the annual Pink Paper reader's awards for their commitment towards serving all communities fairly, with respect and sensitivity.

Fighting Crime and Protecting People

Mr. Todd and his colleagues have helped to spread awareness of LGBT issues, promote best practice and continually worked to develop trust and confidence between GMP and all communities.

The experience of working closely with GMP under the leadership of Michael Todd has given us confidence that we can further our good working relationship to promote better lines of communication between the police and LGBT communities.

In the six years that Mr. Todd was the leader of the force he allowed increased numbers of officers on the streets of Greater Manchester to deliver a better quality of service to all of us.

Paul Martin, Chief Executive at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation said, "Everybody at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Todd. Mike was a keen supporter of the rights of LGBT people within the police service, and he personally led on a number of initiatives which significantly improved the experiences of LGBT people within the force. As a keen champion of the rights of LGBT people, his untimely death is a real loss to the human rights movement in this country."