Overview of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers
The state office of GLBTI (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) Liaison has four basic functions - liaison, education, analysis and advice for police and the victorian community.
Victoria Police have appointed a number of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) across the state the mission statement is to contribute to the creation of mutual trust between police, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and intersex persons so they have increasing confidence in police through the provision of fair and equitable policing service.
Victoria Police currently has 1 full time Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) in Region 1, as well as 20 portfolio GLLOs across the remaining 4 police regions. Portfolio GLLOs have GLLO duties additional to their operational role.
The GLLO's provides a contact point for the leadership within the GLBTI communities so as to provide advice, assistance and recommendations to Victoria Police on the policing needs of GLBTI people.
In 2003 the Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Reference Group was established as a sub-committee of the Victoria Police / Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission Strategic Partnership. The Reference Group meets bi-monthly and has representatives from 9 GLBTI community organisations.
The state GLBTI Liaison office also co-ordinates Victoria Police's involvement in a range of GLBTI events including Pride March, Midsumma Festival, Chillout Festival in Daylesford and International Day Against Homophobia Campaign (IDAHO).
The GLBTI Liaison has a two fold educative responsibility, providing education to police on the policing needs of the GLBTI communities and to GLBTI people on the role of police in their communities.
The GLBTI Liaison in partnership with Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University run a training course for GLLOs and other police. The course equips police to be able to provide assistance to GLBTI victims of crime and police investigators as well as ensuring they effectively connect with their local GLBTI community.
The GLBTI Liaison also provides formal education opportunities. Presentations are provided at the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Course, Constables Course, Protective Service Officers and at local police stations as required. GLBTI Liaision is representative in the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers National Police Network.
Education of the gay community occurs through a number of avenues, these include attendance at community events, presentations to social and support groups and through regular contact with GLBTI community media.
GLLO's are a guest on 'Victoria Police Community Hour' on JOY 94.9FM. This provides an opportunity to provide information to GLBTI people directly in partnership with Anti-violence Project of Victoria, Crime Stoppers and JOY 94.9FM. Additionally Community Service Announcements appear daily on JOY 94.9FM, providing information about GLLOs, personal safety information and encouraging the reporting of homophobic crimes and violence in same sex relationships.
Fortnightly the GLBTI Liaison has a column which appears in the weekly gay newspaper Southern Star.
The GLLO's monitor reported homophobic and transphobic crime and violence in same sex relationships. This information is used to ensure appropriate support and referral pathways are provided to police investigators and victims of crime.
The information is also used to develop crime prevention initiatives for GLBTI people.
In July 2011, Victoria Police released the Prejudice Motivated Crime (PMC) Strategy in order to :
- increase internal understanding of Prejudice Motivated Crime,
- reduce the incidence of Prejudice Motivated Crime, and
- increase community confidence to report Prejudice Motivated Crime to police.
The state GLBTI Liaison office has partnered with the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University in a research project to examine the level of homophobic crime and violence in same sex relationships in Victoria. The report was launched in December 2008 and is available for download in the side bar.
The GLBTI Liaison provides a range of advice to police command and to the regions on the policing needs of GLBTI people.
Advice is also provided to community groups, government and non government agencies to assist in the development of appropriate programs for GLBTI people.
Police and community connected through Academy initiative
On 18 March Police launch the latest component of the Community Encounters Academy training program - a 10 minute documentary showcasing the impact the program has had on participants and their wider communities.
More than 3000 police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) have been touched by the program since it was first introduced in 2009, fostering relationships between Victoria Police recruits and members of the community from a range of diverse backgrounds.
Recruits sit down with community participants and discuss their backgrounds, asking questions and establishing points of understanding.
The program allows recruits to engage with people from a range of communities including people from different religious and ethnic groups, people from the Aboriginal community, people living with a physical disability, people with mental illness, people living with HIV/Aids and those from the gay and transgender community.
Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Davis said the program enabled police to work with the community rather than simply policing for the community, setting the basis for what policing is all about - engaging and working with the community," he said. "Policing is not done in isolation. We need input from the community to do what we do and allows community groups to build relationships with police through the academy."
Documentary on Community Encounters where recruits get to hear the stories and concerns of members of diverse communities.
'NO TO HOMOPHOBIA' Campaign
The 'No to Homophobia' Campaign was launched in August 2012 with a series of community service announcements screening on free to air television as a part of an anti-homophobia campaign created by the Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with other government agencies and GLBTI community organisations.
Cheif Commissioner Ken Lay is a champion for the campaign and added "Victoria Police strongly condemns all forms of violence, bullying, harrassment or intimidation. There are laws in place to protect the rights of all Victorians and we encourage people to report any acts to police. Our Gay & Lesbian Liaison Officers are stationed at various police stations throughout Victoria, who have special training in GLBTI issues - however people can report a crime to any police member."
The campaign website provides links to Victoria Police and information on how to report homophobia at all levels.
See No to Homophobia website.
Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer List
Tel: (03) 9247 6944