Police in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have joined the fight against homophobic bullying by making a video for Stonewall's It Get Better Today campaign.
Officers from the south England county are working with the charity to raise awareness of the problem and offer victims support.
Hampshire Constabulary's Chief Constable Alex Marshall yesterday posted a video message on YouTube calling bullying 'unacceptable'.
He said: 'My organisation, my officers and police staff, will take great care of anyone who might be subject to bullying or picked on because of their difference or sexuality.
'We will stay with you from the moment the call comes in and we’ll make sure we take care of you throughout the whole process through the criminal justice system.'
He added: 'My organisation takes this issue seriously and I can say with great confidence, it gets better from today.'
He also mentions the island's police force which has Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers who are there to support people who have difficulties.
From April 2011 to January 2012, Hampshire Constabulary received 255 reports of homophobic and transphobic incidents, of which 146 were hate crimes.
He said: 'To have the chief constable deliver this message makes it all the more powerful.
'Nobody should ever get to the point where they want to take their own life because of bullying and nobody should suffer in silence.
'The police address bullying because if we can nip it in the bud early we can help prevent cases escalating and give young people back the confidence to live their lives free from harassment.'
Stonewall has welcomed the video, with the group's Chris Dye praising Hampshire Constabulary for joining the campaign.
He said: 'It’s really important for people to know that the police take homophobic crime and incidents seriously.
'We’re sure lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will welcome the chief constable’s comments.'
Mental health charity Mind reports gay and bi people are at higher risk than heterosexuals of suicidal feelings, self-harm, drug abuse and depression.
The issue has been highlighted in the last 12 months by higher level of media coverage of teen gay suicides, particularly in the US, sparking the It Gets Better video campaign and global headlines.