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Leicestershire Constabulary

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					                                    Leicestershire Constabulary

                Police response to
        Homophobic and Transphobic incidents


1.    POLICY STATEMENT

1.1   When homophobic or transphobic incidents occur they do not simply injure the
      victim or damage their property but they can and often do, seriously affect whole
      families, the wider community and society as a whole.

1.2   These types of crimes are particularly hurtful to victims as they are being targeted
      purely because of their sexuality, actual or perceived, or lifestyle. Lesbian, Gay,
      Bisexual, Transgendered and Transvestite people can also be targeted because
      they belong to other minority groups and may experience multiple discrimination.
      The resultant confusion, fear and lack of safety that can be felt by individual victims
      can then go through whole communities, causing them to feel victimised and
      vulnerable to further attack.

1.3   Members of all communities need to know that the police are fully aware of these
      issues. This Force will do all that we can to allay community fears. We will do this
      by consultation, explaining procedures for tackling hate crimes (i.e. any crime where
      the perpetrator’s prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in
      determining who is victimised), encouraging those affected to report attacks, and by
      taking appropriate action which is both vigorous and sympathetic. We are making
      all staff aware of the damage these incidents can cause to community relations and
      senior managers must be determined that the police response will be speedy,
      effective and appropriate.

1.4   This document should be read in conjunction with the Leicestershire Constabulary
      Service Delivery Standards to ensure that when a member of the public reports a
      homophobic or transphobic incident to us, they can expect to receive the highest
      quality of service.


2.    SCOPE

2.1   This policy will deal with Leicestershire Constabulary’s response to incidents that
      meet the following definitions:-




              Leicestershire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, St. John’s, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX
2.2   Definitions:

      Homophobic and transphobic incidents are incidents where a person has been
      harassed, assaulted, bullied or verbally abused because they are lesbian, gay,
      bisexual, transgender, intersex or a transvestite. Whether an incident is recorded as
      homophobic or transphobic will depend upon the circumstances at the time of
      reporting. However, the following definitions should be applied when making this
      decision:

2.3   Homophobic:

      A fear of or a dislike directed towards lesbian, gay or bisexual people, or a fear of or
      dislike directed towards their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether
      or not any specific lesbian, gay or bisexual person has that lifestyle or characteristic.
      The dislike does not have to be so severe as hatred. It is enough that people do
      something or abstain from doing something because they do not like lesbian, gay or
      bisexual people.

             “A Homophobic Incident is any INCIDENT which is perceived to
             be homophobic by the victim or any other person”.

2.4   Transphobic:

      A fear of or a dislike directed towards trans people (i.e. transgender people and
      transvestites), or a fear of or dislike directed towards their perceived lifestyle, culture
      or characteristics, whether or not any specific trans person has that lifestyle or
      characteristic. The dislike does not have to be so severe as hatred. It is enough that
      people do something or abstain from doing something because they do not like trans
      people.

                “A Transphobic Incident is any INCIDENT which is
                perceived to be transphobic by the victim or any other
                person”.

2.5   These definitions are designed to include the widest possible range of incidents and
      staff should be encouraged to take a similarly broad view. They are also widely
      recognised as Best practice in the ACPO Guide to Identifying and Combating Hate
      Crime (2002). They are meant to ensure that police take full account of not only
      what victims say, but also their own perceptions and the perceptions of those who
      may have witnessed the incident or reported it on behalf of another person. This
      means that if any of those who might be involved feel that an incident is a
      homophobic or transphobic incident then it should be recorded as such.




              Leicestershire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, St. John’s, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX
2.6   Homophobic and transphobic incidents include crime and non-crime incidents of
      any kind.
2.7   When investigations are completed and there is evidence which indicates that an
      incident originally recorded as being a homophobic or transphobic, was not so,
      under no circumstances will such a conclusion result in deletion of the original
      report from homophobic and transphobic incident statistics. This is to ensure that a
      true record of incidents reported as being homophobic or transphobic in nature is
      maintained at all times.


3.    AIMS

3.1   Leicestershire Constabulary will take positive action against any behaviour that is
      motivated by a hatred of any group in society.

3.2   Leicestershire Constabulary aims to:-

      (i)     Gain the trust and confidence of individuals and groups, whose members are
              victims of hate crime, to ensure that such attacks do not go unreported.

      (ii)    Prioritise homophobic and transphobic crime, not just by its outward physical
              signs, but by its true impact on victims, in terms of quality of life and its
              corrosive effect on society.

      (iii)   Recognise and respond effectively to homophobic and transphobic incidents
              that are also Critical Incidents.

      (iv)    Work with all partners to contribute positively to community cohesion.

      (v)     Take a firm and clear lead in the stand against hatred. Good leadership will
              ensure that the strategies and practical procedures are delivered as a quality
              service, inspiring confidence and meeting the needs of victims, families,
              witnesses and communities.


4.    PRINCIPLES

4.1   The underlying principles in our response to homophobic and transphobic incidents
      will be to endeavour: -

      (i)     To deal promptly, sensitively and effectively with incidents. All homophobic
              and transphobic incidents will be given the minimum of a Prompt Response
              under the Force’s Graded Response Policy.

      (ii)    To thoroughly investigate all incidents and take positive action.


               Leicestershire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, St. John’s, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX
       (iii)   To act positively in bringing perpetrators to justice, where evidence allows.
       (iv)    To reduce the fear associated with this type of incident and to increase the
               confidence of victims, witnesses and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
               transgender communities to report them.

       (v)     To take effective measures to deal with and prevent repeat victimisation and
               incident repetition.

       (vi)    To enlist the assistance of other partnership agencies in support of victims
               and their needs.


5.     CONFIDENTIAL AND THIRD PARTY REPORTING

5.1    As with other Hate Crime it is accepted that there is widespread under reporting of
      homophobic and transphobic incidents and we need to make considerable efforts to
      overcome a victim’s reluctance to report incidents to the police. There may be
      numerous reasons influencing their decision not to report the incident including:-

       (i)     A desire not to draw attention to them for fear of renewed harassment.

       (ii)    A lack of confidence in the police and a concern that the police will not be
               sympathetic to their needs.

       (iii)   A belief that reporting is useless due to a perceived low detection rate.

       (iv)    A fear of being ‘outed’ to family, friends, employers etc. The consequences
               of this for the victim could be far worse than the incident being reported.

       (v)     A fear that their sexuality will be the focus of the investigation rather than the
               crime reported.

5.2    There are various agencies that represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans
       communities who may receive information about homophobic and transphobic
       incidents. Many will choose to report the incident anonymously and a system for
       confidential reporting and reports from 3rd parties has been established between
       Leicestershire Constabulary, TRADE (a gay community health project) and the
       Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Centre (Leicester).

5.3   Incidents reported via the third party / confidential reporting system will be collated by
      the Force Community Safety Bureau and recorded on the Crime Information System.
      The incident will be dealt with in the way the victim wishes.

5.4   This initiative is also open to staff of Leicestershire Constabulary.


                Leicestershire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, St. John’s, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX
6.    MONITORING

6.1   The Superintendent, Force Community Safety Bureau, will monitor the ongoing
      effectiveness and use of this policy. S/he will also be responsible for the annual
      review of this document and its contents.




             Leicestershire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, St. John’s, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX

				
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