This is a different issue from that for mtf people, but with a little common sense the same guidelines can be adapted. See the mtf page.
Police revealing one's transsexual history
In June 2005 we questioned Carl Wonfor (the Scotland Yard officer who holds the brief for lgbt issues) about identifying the transsexual history of those who need a 'Police check' or 'CRB Check' for employment or other purposes. Carl was well informed, but did not pretend to know the answers. We shall follow up this issue.
What if I'm arrested?
The Met police have dealt with issues well, over many years, but they still cause real concerns.
If you are searched, you CAN ask to be searched by a male OR a female officer, and this will be done with the privacy appropriate to the situation.
If you are detained you will be held in a cell on your own. Forget the American movies, police in the UK can't take the risk that you might be attacked while in custody.
If arrested you must give your name and address details. If this is a problem you can ask to give your details out of earshot, and it probably helps to explain if you are transsexual. The Met has a detailed document on 'custody issues'.
If you are charged, or a victim, or a witness, the CPS advises that
you should contact them as soon as possible. Even if you are tried for
an offence your transsexual history should not normally be publicised,
but take the initiative, contact them as soon as possible.
They cannot withdraw information that has been published.
Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act applies to you if you have a Gender Recognition Certificate. It applies if you are called as a witness in court. It is NOT limited to hate crime against you, but the same protection is not extended to suspects.
If you have a Gender Recognition Certificate, you have all the protection
of your Gender Recognition Certificate. But section 22 denies you that
protection when you are in the witness box. Indeed your diagnosis, medication
and medical history can be used to discredit you - and it's all free
copy (with photos and 'friends' comments) for the local press.
However the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) now has powers to ask for reporting restrictions.
Croydon CPS tells us that any transsexual person in this position should contact them, as soon as they can, to request reporting restrictions under the Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Various options may be applied for, but they must be applied for early, or the information may already be released.
Aurora has asked for this topic to included in police training to prevent cases falling through because a witness withdraws at a late stage.
ACPO Guidelines July 2005
Aurora has written to Carl Wonfor to express concern over the July 2005 Guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on transgender issues. Click here to see the letter.
Other issues are in the pipeline. TS employment in the Police is next. Please comment on any issues you would like to raise - click on Contact Us.
It has taken three years to get this far. It takes time. We need your help. If you're ftm, whether pre-op, post-op, non-op or transitioning, please think about having your say, and click on Contact Us. (There is no need to come to public meetings if you don't want to - the Transgender Working Party works entirely through the internet.)