What stops LGBTI people seeking support from LGBTI police liaison officers? Results from interviews with LGBTI people and liaison officers

A. Dwyer1*, M. Ball2, M. Lee3, T. Crofts4, C. Bond5

1 School of Social Science, University of Tasmania
2 School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology
3 Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney
4 Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney
5 School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University

*Angela Dwyer: angela.dwyer@utas.edu.au

Police liaison programs that support LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) people might go by many names (including GLLOs, LGBTI police liaison officers, etc), but they have become the key model for providing police service enhancements for LGBTI people. These programs now dominate other approaches used to building relationships between police and LGBTI communities. Interestingly, although this form of support is popular, research on the effectiveness of these programs, and the services that align with them, is limited. This seminar examines interview data from LGBTI people and LGBTI police liaison officers in three states in Australia. The interviews were part of a broader study of LGBTI police liaison programs, which includes a survey of LGBTI people about the issues they think impact upon police liaison programs. The analysis demonstrates the key operational issues that impact the role of LGBTI police liaison officers in doing this role in addition to their other duties. The analysis also highlights the key reasons why LGBTI people are reluctant to seek support from these programs and how we might potentially improve this situation. Most importantly, it highlights that these programs need more time to establish themselves before we can get a clear sense of how they might best support LGBTI people in their relationships with police.


Dr Angela Dwyer is an Associate Professor in Police Studies and Emergency Management, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania. Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, at the Queensland University of Technology. Angela conducts research on the intersection between sexuality, gender diversity, and criminal justice and is lead editor of Queering Criminology, edited with Matthew Ball and Thomas Crofts, and published with Palgrave.

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