UK: Constabulary Policy
OK, the summary of the feedback from my interview is below. Hope I've got it covered and haven't strayed too far from the issues, nor missed any. They said that the input is being put into a 3 year plan to be reviewed at least annually and will have targets and responsibilities assigned, so sounds encouraging. It does seem though there must be a lot of duplication going on all across the country - even within the police.
Rights to use gender specific facilities. (thought I'd get that one out of the way)
Constabulary to recognise that a transsexual person has the right to use the gender specific facilities of their chosen gender
Issues specifically around transsexual police officers.
This may create specific problems for operational police officers who do not wish to disclose that they have not had surgery, but who may be in situations where there is a possibility of unintended disclosure
Issues around the dealing with employees going through gender reassignment
Constabulary policy to give transsexual employees the right to take time off for medical appointments.
Constabulary policy to give transsexual employees the right to take leave for surgery and recovery, including consideration for how this leave is identified on personnel records and any associated pay issues.
Point of contact in HR department to liaise with other departments and key stakeholders about name change details (e.g. IT would need to be informed about email address changes/the personnel records officer would need to be informed about name changes/ID badges would need to be changed etc).
HR departments should have contact with external organisations or consultancy should they require support and advice when assisting transsexual employees.
HR department to have knowledge and awareness of the Gender Recognition Act that protects the individual.
Encouraging recruitment of transsexual people.
The Constabulary needs to demonstrate its commitment to gender equality (to include transsexual people) in its recruitment literature.
Support for transsexual employees.
Need for organisational support mechanisms for transsexual staff that are linked with national support networks.
Issues around Gender Recognition.
Constabulary policy to recognise that the organisation will treat an individual based on their acquired gender in the absence of a Gender Recognition Certificate or change of Birth Certificate
Issues around Diversity Monitoring.
The Constabulary in developing diversity monitoring should take into account work at a national level with organisations and use external consultants and organisations to inform the development of internal diversity monitoring.
Although GDA is only to do with Employment & provision of training, they are also seeking input on Service Delivery (which will come in later)
Meeting the medical needs of transsexual detainees.
Procedure/policy in place to ensure that transsexual people have the right to access their medication and, if applicable, other medical kit.
Provision of private facilities in which to use medical kit.
Issues around Stop and Search and Stop and Account.
Training and awareness for officers in terms of how to deal with transsexual people who are stopped.
Issues around the gender of an officer conducting a search.
Give transsexual people the choice about the gender of the officer who searches them.
Disclosing personal information in custody.
Provision of facilities for private discussion should a detainee wish to disclose personal information. All detainees should be informed about their right to request a private area to discuss their needs at the point of being detained.
Concern regarding non-reporting of crimes and incidents.
Build trust and confidence with the transsexual community. This may be achieved through Constabulary run events specifically for the transsexual community.
Constabulary to engage with local transsexual organisations/support groups, in particular frontline staff should undertake visits of support groups.
Training for frontline staff from transsexual members of the community.
Concern about how the Constabulary deals with the death of a transsexual person.
Although Constabulary training might raise awareness of the transgender community through the use of labels (e.g. transsexual, transvestite etc) – it is important that emphasis is placed on the individual and their may be instances such as death where the police need to be especially sympathetic. (issues around how the Constabulary deals with the death of a transsexual person, specifically because not only may they have to break the news to family about the death, but there may be instances in which the family are not aware that the individual is transsexual. )
Some of the above relate to scenarios where your ID documentation might be different from the presentation to the police, especially during early stages of transition.
As you might imagine, this is an issue quite close to my heart, being an employee of the Big Blue Machine myself.
I've attended a couple of similar sessions within the Met, and helped critique their gender diversity/equality policy, which is actually pretty good, and has been in place a couple of years now.
As an employer, the Met is one of the most trans-friendly I know about (e.g. I was allowed - like anyone else recuperating from serious surgery - to take six months on full pay to complete my recovery.)
I've also had nothing but positive vibes from workmates and colleagues as well. I know there's the odd Neanderthal in blue out there, but we have some serious disciplinary powers to use against them if they act up (which I know has happened in the case of a skipper who persecuted a trans-civvie. Best thing about that - he was bubbled up, not by the woman herself, but by her colleagues, who were disgusted at his actions.)
I know it's not all rosy, and of course any big organisation is only doing this because they have to, that's the baseline, but the Met at least (I don't know about any other constabulary) are doing a lot more than paying lip service.
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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22. January 2008
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