Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLO)

SAPOL

The state of South Australia benefits from a diverse population representing many cultures, religions, beliefs and groups. SAPOL is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all these communities, and providing an equitable and fair service to them.

Historically an element of lack of trust has existed between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) communities and the police. As a result, crimes committed against these communities largely went unreported. In addition, SAPOL acknowledges there is still a significant amount of negative prejudice ingrained in much of society directed at persons who identify as, or are perceived as being a member of the GLBT community.

In line with our commitment to customer service and providing a customer focused approach, SAPOL introduced the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) network in 2007. The development and ongoing training of this network of 45 members has been facilitated by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community, through ongoing liaison with Gay Men’s Health of South Australia.

The GLLO network has representatives in Metropolitan and Country locations and also specialist policing areas including State Crime Prevention Branch, Sexual Crime Investigation Branch and Major Crime Investigation Branch. All GLLOs have undergone special training in GLBT issues and can provide discrete, non-judgemental guidance and support in the reporting of crimes.

GLLO officers will not usually investigate the crime, but are available to discuss the incident and facilitate the agreed and most appropriate response to it.

How SAPOL GLLOs can assist you
Remember there are GLLOs located throughout South Australia, all are specially selected and trained, and are sensitive to and supportive of GLBT issues including:

  • Hate crime;
  • Same sex relationship domestic abuse;
  • Assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Threatening or abusive phone calls;
  • Harassment from neighbours; and
  • Beat location issues.

All GLLOs have established links with key service providers including the Aids Council of South Australia (ACSA), Gay Men’s Health (GMH), Gay and Lesbian Community Service (GLCS), local Government and the local GLBT community as part of effectively undertaking their responsibilities.

The GLLOs can help you obtain the most appropriate support and outcome for your specific needs.

GLLOs can be contacted anonymously by members of the GLBT community, or by their family or friends to discuss issues and seek advice.

Neighbourhood Policing Teams
Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT) were deployed for the first time in August 2010 at Elizabeth and South Coast Local Service Areas. These teams, each consisting of a supervisor and four NPT officers, represent an innovative and creative approach to increasing community engagement, confidence and satisfaction in the delivery of an equitable customer focused policing service.

Each allocated suburb will have a dedicated Neighbourhood Police Officer who will be highly visible, accessible and responsive to local community concerns about crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

As dedicated teams they will develop an in-depth understanding of the root causes of issues and work with the community and partners to resolve them.

The South Coast NPT supervisor is a Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer who provides a focal point of contact for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Elizabeth LSA Suburbs

  • Davoren Park
  • Munno Para
  • Smithfield
  • Smithfield Plains

South Coast LSA Suburbs

  • Hackham West
  • Huntfield Heights
  • Seaford
  • Seaford Rise

Hate Crime
A hate crime is any criminal act which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by someone’s hatred or bias of an individual’s or group’s race, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Why should I report such incidents?
SAPOL are encouraging people to report hate crime but know that many incidents go unreported. Even when they are, the person reporting may not tell us that the incident is connected to their sexuality because they do not want the police to know they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

  • By reporting hate crime you provide valuable information to the police which helps build a clearer picture of crime trends in the community;
  • It provides better opportunities for police to develop patrol strategies to catch the offenders and reduce/prevent further offences taking place;
  • Left unreported, the attackers are free to re-offend; and
  • Some of these offenders believe they can get away with harassment and other offences because they think (often correctly) that the incident will not be reported.

SAPOL takes all reports of hate crime seriously and strongly encourages victims to report these incidents, and the GLLO network was created to facilitate addressing these offences.

If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked by someone because they think you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) help yourself and your community by reporting these crimes.

Remember in an emergency always dial 000, for non emergency, ring 131 444 to report the incident, any SAPOL employee will assist you. If you would rather, you may ask to speak to a GLLO covering the area where you live or where the incident occurred.

Abuse within same sex relationships
Domestic abuse in same sex and heterosexual relationships share many similarities, including the types of abuse and the impact on the victim. However, there are some aspects that are unique to same sex domestic abuse, these include but are not limited to:

  • Telling a partner that their allegations will not be taken seriously because the courts and police are homophobic;
  • The abuse is linked with sexuality – for many people, especially those new to a gay or lesbian relationship, the abuse they are suffering may seem connected with their sexual identity. They may feel the abuse is caused by or even deserved because they are gay or lesbian, leading to self-loathing and reluctance to report;
  • “Outing” as a method of control – if the abused partner has not come out to their friends, family, work colleagues or their cultural community, the abusive partner may out or threaten to out the victim to discourage them from reporting the abuse.

Do not tolerate or remain in a violent relationship. Report it and stop the cycle of domestic abuse.

The most important thing to remember if you are experiencing domestic abuse is that the abuse is not your fault and you don’t have to put up with it.
SAPOL is committed to taking positive action to address all domestic abuse. Your report will be taken seriously.

In an emergency ring 000 (or 131 444 if not urgent) for assistance. If urgent police attendance is not required, you may contact your local police station or alternatively a GLLO for confidential support and guidance.

GLLO information courtesy and property of the South Australian Police Force. Full information can be found at

www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/community_services/gay_lesbian_liaison_officers.jsp

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