GLLO Mardi Gras March

The New South Wales Police Force has a policy and program area supporting members of sexuality, gender diverse and intersex communities. The 'GLLO' program - Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers - have served the LGBTI communities for over 25 years. They are located in many police stations across NSW (see below to contact a GLLO).

The NSW Police Force has released its fourth policy on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex, continuing its commitment to working in partnership with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities across NSW. Read our policy here (PDF)

Each year the NSW Police Force supports a number of key community events such as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May, Wear it Purple Day in August, Transgender Day of Remembrance in November and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in February/March.

Policies and programs focus on crime prevention, community engagement and workplace inclusion.

The NSW Police Force is a member of Pride in Diversity – a non-profit employer support organisation assisting a range of corporate and government agencies to become more inclusive and supportive of LGBTI staff. As part of this commitment, we participate in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). This year, the NSW Police Force achieved ‘top 10’ Gold status and won awards for Intersex Inclusion and Community Impact.

Community AwardGold EmployerInclusion

GLLOs - LGBTI Liaison Officers

GLLOs (originally called Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers) are contact officers for the broader sexuality, gender diverse and intersex communities. Their training includes specific information on the history of the relationship between police and LGBTI communities, challenges and sensitivities experienced by some community members to engage with police, and effective responses to people who become victims of crime. They also assist other police to respond to homophobic and transphobic incidents and work with the Bias Crimes Unit and other specialist areas. Another aspect of their role is to champion LGBTI inclusion at work and provide support to LGBTI staff.

To contact a GLLO, call your local police and ask to speak with a GLLO – LGBTI Liaison Officer. Many police stations have a GLLO but these officers may not be available immediately. Please do not wait to report a crime – report it immediately to your local police. You can request follow-up support from a GLLO. If the local police station does not have a GLLO, contact the Region Sponsor, Sexuality, Gender Diversity & Intersex who can locate a GLLO nearby for you:

Currently (August 2017) the Region Sponsors are:

  • Western NSW: Sergeant Dearne Jeffree at Lachlan LAC, Parkes Police Station, 02 6862 9999
  • Southern NSW: Superintendent Evan Quarmby at Albury LAC, 02 6023 9299,
  • Northern NSW: Chief Inspector Nicole Bruce at Richmond LAC, Lismore Police Station, 02 6636 0599,
  • South West Metropolitan: Inspector Bradley Thorne at  Bankstown LAC, 02 9783 2199,
  • Central Metropolitan: Superintendent (Surry Hills) at Surry Hills LAC, 02 9265 4144
  • North West Metropolitan: Inspector Kylie Smith at North Shore LAC, 02 9414 8499,

NSW Police Force apologises to the '78ers

In 2016, a formal apology was delivered to the ‘78ers’ by the Corporate Sponsor for Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex, Supt Tony Crandell. This was an apology for the way the first group of Mardi Gras protesters were policed back in 1978 and acknowledged the pain and hurt that the police actions caused at that event. This text of this apology follows:

78ers apology

Community Safety Tips

The New South Wales Police Force takes the issue of bias motivated crime seriously and encourages the reporting of all incidents. The available evidence suggests that during periods of high visibility eg Mardi Gras festival season, there may also be an increased risk of abuse and even violence. Please take note of the safety tips below to look after yourself and your friends. Report anti-social and violent behaviours to the police immediately.

Harm to the victim and the community

Bias crimes not only harm the victim, they harm the victim’s group, and society as a whole. For victims of crimes motivated by bias, for example homophobia or transphobia, it can be one of the most traumatic experiences of their life. They find themselves victimised for characteristics which are intrinsic and unchangeable, and the repercussions of the crime can be felt throughout the entire community.

Personal Safety

Bias related violence can be random. You can reduce the chances of being attacked or harassed by following some general safety tips.

Stay Alert

  • Awareness is your best defence.
  • Remove yourself from a situation if you think, or feel, something is wrong with it. Listen to your instincts.

Project Confidence

  • Walk near the curb and avoid parked cars, side streets and alleys
  • Be aware of who is in front of, and behind you
  • Cross the street if you feel threatened
  • Be aware of who gets off public transport with you
  • Have your keys in your hand before you reach your car or your home

Plan Your Night

  • If you are going out and "frocking up" for the night (for example, in ‘drag’ or something revealing) wear something over your outfit, such as a jacket or overcoat, or consider changing at your destination
  • Catch a taxi to and from your destination
  • Arrange to meet people and walk there together.

What To Do If You Are Attacked

  • Verbal harassment may be a prelude to an attack. It can be upsetting and embarrassing to be called offensive names, and it can also be a reflexive response to return the insult. Try to avoid this.
  • If you are a victim of assault you should:
  1. Be assertive, but not aggressive
  2. Remain calm
  3. If trouble starts, yell to draw attention to your situation
  4. Create distance between yourself and danger by running to safety.

Do Not Be A Silent Witness

  • Call the police on Triple Zero (000)
  • Avoid physical intervention, but try to scare off the attacker/s
  • Intervene safely – gather people to the scene, blow a whistle if you have one or yell to attract attention. Offenders are rarely proud enough of their actions that they will continue with an audience
  • If you see or hear someone being attacked, DO SOMETHING, do not ignore it.

Reporting The Crime

It is not uncommon for victims of this type of crime not to report the matter to police. This can be for a variety of reasons and may include:

  • Fear of reprisals,
  • Mistrust of police,
  • Fear of being "outed" as a result of participating in the court process, and/or
  • The perception that the incident is not serious enough to report to police.

To assist all officers to understand the challenges and expectations of LGBTI communities the NSWPF has a network of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) across the state.  GLLOs are also active in their local communities to ensure open communication and exchange of information for the benefit of the local community.  Over time these relationships should lead to improved confidence by LGBTI communities in the police. This in turn should lead to improved rates of reporting of crime and violence.

Homophobic violence affects everyone in the community. If you see something, say something – make sure you report the incident to police.

25 Years & GLLO-ing

In 2015 the NSW Police Force celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the GLLO Program. 25 years and GLLO-ing is a colourful display of history, featuring highlights over the 25 years.

The history of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers – GLLOs – is explored and displayed highlighting milestone events and achievements. The oldest program of its kind in Australia, GLLOs have served the LGBTI communities for over 25 years. Profiles of some of our longest serving GLLOs and our newest additions are complemented by colourful photographs of GLLO events during this period.

To commemorate 100 years of women in policing in NSW special tribute was made to our female GLLOs and allies who have helped to create a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTI officers, staff and the community members we serve.

This display has now been installed at the police Academy in Goulburn to ensure that all of our recruits and visiting officers are made aware of the colourful and rich history behind the GLLO Program.

25 Years & GLLO-ing timeline

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