Policing experiences with LGBTIQ people in Tasmania: results from interviews with LGBTIQ Tasmanians and Tasmania Police officers
A/Prof. Angela Dwyer1, Professor Nicole Asquith
1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
In recent times, the policing of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) communities has been the focus of research attention, revealing very challenging interactions with police. Historically, and arguably contemporaneously, police have been empowered to enforce laws seeking to regulate LGBTIQ people as deviant and in need of regulation, meaning LGBTIQ-police relations are marked by mutual mistrust. Research is beginning to explore how LGBTIQ-police interactions unfold, but this work has largely been done in international contexts – we know relatively little about how these interactions unfold in an Australian context and we know even less about how specific locations/regions shape these relations. The research reported in this paper emerged as a result of conversations about the work being done by Tasmania Police to improve relationships between LGBTIQ Tasmanians and Tasmania Police. With a contentious history of policing LGBTIQ people, Tasmania Police have invested resources to enhance their services to LGBTIQ Tasmanians. This research explored whether this investment has led to improved relations by conducting surveys and interviews with LGBTIQ Tasmanians and Tasmania Police officers. The research found that LGBTIQ Tasmanians experienced very mixed, challenging police interactions significantly influenced by police understandings of gender diversity. The paper will conclude by exploring the need for further training for Tasmanian police officers.
Dr Angela Dwyer is an Associate Professor in Policing and Emergency Management, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, and the Deputy Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies. She is the Co-Founder of the Division of Queer Criminology with the American Society of Criminology. 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.