A Croydon based gay police group has persuaded Scotland Yard to agree on guidance to protect transgenders from abuse when they use public toilets.
One of the fears of those changing gender is being verbally abused, assaulted or seen as breaking the law for being in what others may see as the wrong toilet.
Aurora, Croydon’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Police Focus Group has been consulting with transgender organisations and the police for two years and have agreed plans for guidance. The move, under the Which Loo? Campaign, has been endorsed by Metropolitan Police.
“I’m delighted that the police have worked so closely with us on this issue” said Michelle, who received her certificate of gender recognition last year.
“It’s important that trans-people know that the police are aware of the problem and are trying to help the whole community stay safe”.
Another Aurora member, Rachel said: “I had a really bad experience when I had to use the ladies three years ago – it’s extremely humiliating. We’re really pleased the police have taken interest in this problem.”
Chief Inspector Tom Morrell, from Croydon Police said: “The ‘Which Loo?’ project has been developed as a result of close co-operation between police and community members within Aurora”
“We will continue to work with Aurora in order to identify and take positive action to address local issues of concern to the LGBT community”.
Scotland Yard released a statement saying they were pleased to support the partnership, “[It] supports the Metropolitan Police Service vision of making London safer for all our communities.
The MPS recognises that this particular issue is of concern to the transgender community, and is certain that ‘Which loo?’ will provide practical suggestions that will give confidence and support based on the experiences and learning of other transpeople.”