Monday 19 September 2011

Our work


The police and other related agencies have recognised the immense value of independent advice in critical incidents. The Critical Incidents (CI) team has provided independent advice to the police on community sensitive issues in a number of high-profile cases. This has proved to be vital in community and family confidence in the response of the police service. The involvement of community advisors lends credibility and transparency to the investigation, as well as providing an opportunity for independent scrutiny. 

What we do

The Metropolitan Police Service defines a Critical Incident as:
‘Any incident where the effectiveness of the police response is likely to have a significant impact on the confidence of: the victim, their family and/or the community.’
The work of the Critical Incidents Sub Group therefore focuses on the strategic implications of incidents that relate to murder, serious crime, disaster, public disorder, linked incidents, internal (within the Police Service) discrimination and incidents that have a wide impact on Community confidence.

We primarily give advice on LGBT-related issues that arise from each specific case.
This may include advice on:
who to involve locally
cultural and language issues
family liaison issues
community reaction and responses
community knowledge of other incidents that could be linked
options open to the police

We have been involved in a number of high-profile cases. While those cases have primarily involved the murder of an LGBT person, a few of the cases have involved systematic harassment or violent attack. Our remit is very broad, media or public attention is not the basis for involving an independent advisor. We are usually involved at a strategic level, rather than at an operational or tactical level. This means that we do not take part in the day to day investigation of a case. We also do not become directly involved with witnesses, victims or their families.


From transvestites to transsexuals, the transgender community is a complex and intriguing mix of people and personalities. We work to influence thinking and help develop policy for the police service in relation to our community.

What we do

Our work crosses the boundaries of many projects of the Advisory Group as a whole.

Policy and Guidance
In collaboration with other agencies, we have developed guidelines on how services should be delivered to transgender people as victims, suspects or witnesses. We have also been closely involved with the 2002 review of the Met's policy on the transgender issues. We will continue to review and update these policies.

Training is crucial to implementing policy and guidelines. Our presentation at the LGBT Liaison Officers conference (2002) has provided a starting point for a training video for UK police officers.

Public safety
We are working with the London Transport Users Committee and the British Transport Police to ensure that the safety concerns of transgender persons are properly addressed.

Who we are

What is the LGBT Advisory Group?
We are a voluntary group of independent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advisors working with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at New Scotland Yard. We advise on and monitor police issues that affect LGBT people who live in, work in, study in or are visiting London. 

How did the group come about?
After the April 1999 Soho bombings in London, John Grieve, then head of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force, recognised the need for a lesbian and gay advisory group.

How were members of the group chosen?
A number of LGBT individuals insisted that such a group should reflect the whole LGBT community and not be appointed by the police. An ad hoc group put together a process to recruit a wide range of LGBT people to form an advisory group. The initial group of 25 were selected in January 2000 to form the LGBT Advisory Group (LGBT AG). Our current selection procedure panel consists of a member of the advisory group, a police representative and an independent member of the LGBT community.

How is the group funded?
We are a group of volunteers. The Diversity Directorate covers essentials expenses for members on Advisory Group business.

Is the group open to new members?
There have been several recruitment rounds as people move on from the group, or away from the London area. We aim to keep the average number of members around 15. 

What does the Advisory Group do?
Initially we were only invited to advise the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force (CO24), now the Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate (DCFD). However as the quality of our advice has been recognised, we are increasingly invited to participate in a wide range of strategy and policy work. From a long list of priorities, we have had to become more realistic in only agreeing to do work we have the capacity to do.

How often does the full Group meet?
The full group meets once every 6 weeks. All members are asked to attend these meetings. However we may occasionally call an emergency meeting of the full group.

Do the police come to your meetings?
Yes. Our meetings are attended by senior officers from the Diversity Directorate (DCFD) and Territorial Police which oversees all the 32 police boroughs.