British Police and Crown Prosecution Service Members learn how to deal with transphobic incidents and receive training on gender identity by British Transgender DJ Stephanie Hirst
England, United Kingdom — Stephanie Hirst, who regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio Manchester, also spends much of her time using her life experience to educate others about what it is like to be transgender. BBC News Reports
Police records show there has been a significant rise in the number of transgender hate crimes over the last four years – from 361 attacks in the year ending 2012 to more than 600 last year.
Some of this is likely to be down to better awareness of the crime and better recording of data.
Even so, the Women and Equalities Select Committee says many of these crimes are massively underreported.
The people in the audience listen attentively. Sgt Chris Swaby from Humberside Police is quick to tell me how useful he found her story and how it will shape the way in which he deals with victims of transphobic attacks.
He said, “This helped me because every day of the week, you know as a police officer, we deal with members of the public.
“We don’t know who we’re going to deal with, we don’t know what their background is, we don’t know what they’ve gone through.
“Every contact with the member of the public is a trace so if I don’t deal with somebody appropriately, then their impression of the police is not a positive one, they won’t come back to the police in the future and they won’t have confidence in the police.”
The training is run by what is called The Diversity Panel, an idea formed and paid for by the Humberside Criminal Justice Board more than 10 years ago.
The session is one of a number of similar training programmes running in other areas of the UK.
Stephanie feels that by educating people in positions of authority, the justice system will be more aware of the sensitivities around those who are battling with their gender identity and are victims of hate crime.
“My whole role in the trans community is to try to help educate,” she says. “I don’t want to be one of those people that stands up banging a drum for trans rights.
“If I can help educate the person on the street and talk to people in classrooms and tell them that this is biological and not something that you one day decide, that will help the next person who could suffer transphobia in the street.”
Source: BBC News