Police guidance on risk of trans suspects ‘manipulating sex’ was outdated

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There were red faces at the Association of Chief Police Officers yesterday as PinkNews.co.uk quizzed officials about wording on recent guidance perceived as offensive by many in the trans community.

In a story published yesterday, PinkNews.co.uk revealed how PACE Code C, which governs the treatment of non-terrorist detainees in police custody had been amended to demonstrate greater sensitivity to trans men and women. This was acknowledged in guidelines put together by ACPO and the National Police Improvement Agency and published in March 2012 on the Home Office web site.

However, eyebrows were raised by a suggestion that a secondary purpose of this change might be to reduce the likelihood of transvestite and transsexual detainees attempting “to ‘manipulate’ their stated sex in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the Police Service”.

Cue outrage by various trans commentators – and red faces over at ACPO, as it transpired that that particular line had been included in the original version, which was still available up to yesterday afternoon, on the ACPO website – but that following feedback post-publication, amendments had been made and the updated version posted on the Home Office website (albeit without version details).

Meanwhile, no-one had thought to change the version on ACPO’s website.

A mildly embarrassed apology from ACPO – and those looking for ACPO guidance on the subject should now find the same line being promoted by ACPO and by the Home Office.

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