You're transitioning. Which Loo do you go into: Gents or Ladies? Aurora's guidelines were endorsed by the Metropolitan Police.
Notes on Reporting to Aurora from Scotland Yard
These notes were sent specifically for transgendered people. They tell you what the Police are interested in, and why; how they use the information, and several ways to report incidents.
Police checks revealing one's TS-history
In June 2005 we questioned Carl Wonfor (the Scotland Yard officer who holds the brief for lgbt issues) about identifying the transsexual history of those who need a 'Police check' or 'CRB Check' for employment or other purposes. Carl was well informed, but did not pretend to know the answers. We are continuing to pursue this issue through TransPol-UK.
What if I'm arrested?
The Met police have dealt with issues well, over many years, but they still cause real concerns.
If you are searched, you CAN ask to be searched by a male OR a female officer, and this will be done with the privacy appropriate to the situation.
If you are detained you will be held in a cell on your own. Forget the American movies, police in the UK can't take the risk that you might be attacked while in custody.
If arrested you must give your name and address details. If this is a problem you can ask to give your details out of earshot, and it probably helps to explain if you are transsexual. The Met has a detailed document on 'custody issues'.
If you are charged, or
victim, or a witness, the CPS advises
that you should contact them as soon as possible. Even if you are tried
for an offence your transsexual history should not normally be publicised,
but try to contact them within a week or so.
Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act applies to you if you have a Gender Recognition Certificate. It applies if you are called as a witness in court. It is NOT limited to hate crime against you, but the same protection is not extended to suspects.
If you have a Gender Recognition Certificate, you have all the protection
of your Gender Recognition Certificate. But section 22 denies you that
protection when you are in the witness box. Indeed your diagnosis, medication
and medical history can be used to discredit you - and it's all free
copy (with photos and 'friends' comments) for the local press.
However the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) now has powers to ask for reporting restrictions.
Croydon CPS tells us that any transsexual person in this position should contact them, as soon as they can, to request reporting restrictions under the Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Various options may be applied for, but they must be applied for early, or the information may already be released.
Aurora has asked for this topic to included in police training to prevent cases falling through because a witness withdraws at a late stage.
ACPO Guidelines July 2005
Aurora has written to Carl Wonfor to express concern over the July 2005 Guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on transgender issues. Click here to see the letter. Some of us are working with the national forum for transgender policing issues, TransPol-UK, following this up.
We're looking at some day-to-day things that transpeople find helpful to avoid criminal attention. If you'd like to join in and contribute to this project e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about 'trans safety'.
Lone Female by a Motorway
If you're m2f, what happens when your car breaks down on the Motorway? Here's our proposal.
Other issues are in the pipeline. Please comment on any issues you would like to raise - click on Contact Us.
It has taken over three years to get this far. It takes time. We need your help. If you're mtf, whether pre-op, post-op, non-op or transitioning, please think about having your say, and click on Contact Us. (There is no need to come to public meetings - the Transgender Working Party works entirely by e-mail.)