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.
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.