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Homophobic Experiences in Policing: A Case Study Presented By: Karen Lancaster-Ellis Address: 5th October. 2013 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Homophobic Experiences in Policing: A Case Study Presented By: Karen Lancaster-Ellis Address: 5th October. 2013 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Homophobic Experiences in Policing: A Case Study Presented By: Karen Lancaster-Ellis E-Mail Address: 5th October. 2013 1

2 Outline 1.Background 2. Definition 3.Significance 4.Nature of Problem 5.Purpose of Study 6.Theories 7.Past Research 8.Objectives 9. Research Questions 10.Method 11.Setting & Subjects 12.Data Types 13.Findings 14.Conclusion 15.Recommendations 5th October. 20132

3 T & T USA 6377 km or 3962 miles from Canada 3539 km or 2199 miles from USA 3

4 Background T&T demographics Emergence of groups Social norms Religion, Values & Norms Alternative lifestyle Legislation Safety & Security Challenges Same-sex relations Closeted lifestyle 5th October. 20134

5 Definition - Homophobia Homophobia is a term used to describe the fear, discomfort, intolerance, or hatred of homosexuality or same sex attraction in others and in oneself. (GLSEN, 2002). 5th October. 20135

6 Celebrate Or Denounce? 5th October. 2013 6

7 Is it Important? Culture of silent prejudice (Gopie, 2011) Little empirical research (Lyons et al, 2005) Implications for inter-personal relationships Hidden influence Hegemonic masculinity 5th October. 2013 7

8 POLICE LEGITIMACY 5th October. 2013 8

9 Acceptable Behaviour????? “Gay people are people too, they are citizens of T&T and they make a valuable contribution to the country...They should not be treated as though they don’t belong or have no rights,” Excerpt from: MK Interview 5th October. 2013 9

10 The Problem Homophobia –Homosexuals & lesbians Private behaviour Increasing phenomenon in the TTPS. Inadequacy of Legislation 5th October. 2013 10

11 Purpose 5th October. 2013 1 Raise Awareness of Executive Officers 2 Policy & Strategy Implementation 3 Improve Inter-personal relationships 11

12 Theoretical Framework Symbolic Interactionism Phenomenology Ethnomethodology 5th October. 2013 12

13 Past Research Past Research Tolerance = Satisfaction (Inglehart & Welzel, 2007) Vignettes varying gender & sexual orientation (Younglove, Kerr & Vitello, 2002; Lyons et al 2005) – No difference Attitudes towards gays (Younglove, Kerr & Vitello, 2002; Lyons et al 2005; Arnott 2000; Burke, 1994) Perception of the Police (Blood, 2005) Increased tolerance (Chadee, 2011) Adoption of new narratives (Stanislas, 2013) 5th October. 2013 13

14 Objectives To determine if the experiences of homophobic victim and offender influence working relationships To assess whether these experiences influence the quality of service provided to the public To find out how officers describe their homophobic experiences 5th October. 201314

15 Research Questions How do police officers describe their homophobic experiences in the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service as victim and offender? What is the extent of Homophobia in the TTPS? Do these experiences influence the quality of relationships with colleagues? Do these experiences influence the quality of service provided to members of the public? 5th October. 201315

16 Methodology Qualitative Survey Unstructured Interviews Survey : - Survey Monkey - Survey Web Link via E-Mail: 112 Participants, 9 Ranks, Anonymous Responses - Homophobic Scale/Index : Likert Scale (Wright, Adams & Bernat) - Bio Data Unstructured Interviews: - Purposive Sampling/Gatekeeper – 15 Officers, 4 Ranks, 3-30 yrs. Service in 6 Dept’s/Units - Data Analysis: Codes & Themes 5th October. 2013 16

17 Settings/Subjects 112 Participants Shift and Mon-Fri. Work with civilian employees Uniformed/Plainclothes officers General Policing, Administration & Specialist Areas Secondary/Vocational & Tertiary level education 8 mths to over 30 years service First and Second Division Officers 5th October. 2013 17

18 CONVERSATIONAL DATA CASE OF MIRANDA A female officer between 50 & 55 yrs. with 30 yrs experience. Would you treat a homosexual victim/offender any different to someone who is straight? “Yes, I will be skeptical to ask them a question but I will think twice because they may want to lie and I want to know the truth. I not suppose to do that based on what I have learnt. But if anybody see yuh talking to them they will feel yuh in de same category as they are.” 5th October. 2013 18

19 A female officer with 19 years experience and between 40 & 45 years. Would you treat a homosexual victim/offender any different to someone who is straight? “Sometimes I may unconsciously because what I will do is if yuh know they are I will talk to them about it & give them some counselling about their lifestyle. But I will also do that with other normal suspects but for a different reason. But they may know what they doing is wrong so you will see if they can change the situation.” 5th October. 201319 CONVERSATIONAL DATA CASE OF RUTH

20 A female officer with 9 years experience and between 30 & 35 years. Would you treat a homosexual victim/offender any different to someone who is straight? “No, because I am a professional and choose not to allow my personal opinion to interfere with my duty as a police officer”. 5th October. 201320 CONVERSATIONAL DATA CASE OF BELINDA

21 Survey Data: 20%+ Response Rate, 76% Port-of-Spain 31 to 59 years 47% Married & 26% Common-Law Roman Catholic/Protestant – 52% African 74%, Mixed 16%, East Indian 5% 63% - Tertiary Education Lesbian/Homosexuals – 30% vs. 10% Social Functions – 55% uncomfortable 5th October. 201321 SURVEY DATA What was revealed?

22 5th October. 201322

23 Are you Homophobic? 5th October. 2013 23 1.I am not Homophobic but I will prefer to work with persons I know to be straight. 2.No, but it have conditionality. 3.No, I am neutral, me and dem good, we quarrel regular but we good (Disgusting; Displayed homophobia in thoughts).

24 Documented Data Legislation The Constitution, Chapter 1:01 Equal Opportunity Act No. 69 of 2000 Sexual Offences Act #27 of 1986 – Section 13 Section 8 of the Immigration Act, Chapter 18:01 Extradition Act, Chapter 12:04 5th October. 201324

25 Findings Unstructured Interviews: 80% persons were Homophobic Unacknowledged/Denied Homophobia Used derogatory terms to describe Gays/Lesbians Practiced discrimination against Gay/Lesbian members of the public Didn’t openly display Homophobia Still silent, closeted & not trusting Codes & Themes 5th October. 201325

26 Findings Non-confrontational Influences relationship with colleagues but not public Less experience/Youthfulness = Greater tolerance (Chadee, 2011) More tolerant of Lesbians than Homosexuals Participants in Unstructured Interview held open discussions 5th October. 2013 26

27 Findings Victim – Embarrassed, Prejudicial, Deceitful, Distrusting Offender – Embarrassing, Nasty, Necessary, Lowered Legitimacy, Disrespectful, Lack Spirituality, Alienation from Homosexuals & lesbians Extent –Homophobic 5th October. 201327

28 Culture influenced homophobia rather than religion Offender sexual orientation was not a factor Deviance > acceptable normative Police Perception Increased tolerance 5th October. 201328Discussion

29 Conclusion/Recommendation Policing ‘macho’ profession Role seemingly being redefined Challenges to contend Education (Van de Ven, 1997; Olivero & Murataya ) Code of Conduct (Derogatory terms, such as “battie boy”) Annual Assessments Revision of Standing Orders & Publication of Departmental Orders (e.g. Equal Opportunity Clause) Forum for affected persons Update UCR 5th October. 201329

30 Any Questions? Thank You!! 5th October. 2013 30

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