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UK: Trans police officer loses discrimination case against force

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  1. Staircase2 16 Dec 2013, 3:47pm

    Having now heard of several cases of the Met treating officers who have been victims of discrimination in the workplace appallingly, I’m not convinced that this case is as simple as the tribunal is making out.
    While it may be true that Essex Police is a shining beacon of acceptance and tolerance of the diversity of its staff, I very much doubt it.

    1. de Villiers 16 Dec 2013, 7:13pm

      Do you have a reference to the judgment?

    2. de Villiers 16 Dec 2013, 7:15pm

      I have just looked on the Essex Police website and see that they were a Stonewall Top Employer 2011. You say that the tribunal has been too simple in its decision – could you post a link to the judgment?

  2. It’s a tricky one, but if she clearly sounds male still then the problem really is determining what’s more important: ensuring the officer on the end of the radio is who they say they are or potentially causing offense?

    In my opinion the former is more important. But on the flip side; just using tone of voice is not an acceptable way of verifying someone’s identity! (Based on that logic alone any person of the same gender as an officer could inpersoniate them!) – security codes or key phrases should be performed. I don’t know if any verification is performed at the moment though!

    Having said all that, she’d probably just be as offended if there was a marker in her file indicating the tone of voice doesn’t match her gender on the computer system. It’s a hard one to deal with definitely!

    The bottom line is there are numerous trans people in the force, so similar situations must happen all the time. Noone else is suing, so “easily offended” sounds like a logical defence here!

    1. they all have personalised codes. that is ALL that is needed.

    2. Karen St. John 18 Dec 2013, 5:22pm

      In a modern, digital radio system, each station (radio) has unique codes transmitted. Codes that aren’t doled out to the public. Each police department uses standardised IDs and procedures to keep track of the officers/constables, including call-in and call-out verifications. These are safety measures, of course. They don’t involving sexing the officer. If dispatch has a reason to assume foul play, first they should be getting a supervisor and backup involved. If there is an officer playing games, there will be hell to pay later, but if not, the hell to pay could be a dead constable.

      If sexing the officer’s voice is part of the procedure, that’s just backwards, and the department has some serious research to do into modern procedure. If it isn’t part of the procedure, then the dispatchers need some heavy duty training. Including in professionalism.

  3. This is a difficult one, as a trans person who has to use the phone a lot for work, I’m very concious about my voice tone and practice on it a lot. But it is difficult and very frustrating at times.
    Having said that, some of my sisters have more chips than Harry ramsden and don’t do much to help their acceptance by others, expecting everyone else to bend rather than helping the situation themselves. I’ve seen workers be selectively transphobic, and it’s been because of the trans persons attitude.
    Having said that, I bet the trans police officer was being deliberately wound up by her fellow officers, because that’s what people are like, even alleged professionals like the police

  4. These are the police that we trust to protect us, and they dont have a clue. Police officers have personalised numbers, that should be enough for a radio call. Get a f*cking grip essex police force.

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