The Scottish LGBTI Police Association traces its roots back to 1990 and the founding of the Lesbian and Gay Police Association. You can find out more about our past by clicking on the link below.
Following a thorough internal review, the Association re-launched in February 2018. Prior to the re-launch, we existed as Gay Police Association (GPA) Scotland. An organisation which the public voted as the 2015 Equality Network Staff Association of the Year and the ICON Community Spirit organisation of the year.
This is a synopsis of what we are about.
The first professional police force created in the UK was the City of Glasgow Police in 1800. However, it wasn't until 1829 when the Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, established a police force in London and set out an ethical standard for policing which would become known as the "Peelian Principles" or "policing by consent" which became a standard throughout the UK. Principle 7 states, "To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."
It would be fair to say that until the latter half of the 20th Century, the make-up of the police service looked more like that of 19th Century Britain. Whilst there have always been LGBTI police officers and staff, few felt able to identify as such for fear of negative consequences. Indeed the relationship between the police and the increasingly visible LGBTI community was at an all-time low.
In order to be effective, based on the UK-wide model of policing, it is vital for all communities to have trust and confidence in the police and feel part of that institution. Tension and mistrust simply make it far more difficult for the police to operate efficiently and "police by consent". If your own staff feel unable or uncomfortable about being openly LGBTI, why should the LGBTI community place any trust or confidence in that institution?
Critics of our Association, who have mainly come from within the policing ranks, including some LGBTI personnel, are often under the misapprehension that we are 'divisive'. Quite the contrary. The reverse is true. Thanks to the Association putting its head above the parapet and standing up for all LGBTI police personnel over many years, the police service in Scotland has evolved dramatically to become far more inclusive than it has ever been.
The Scottish LGBTI Police Association (formerly GPA Scotland) has been at the forefront of change and providing a voice, that wouldn't otherwise exist, for LGBTI police service personnel at every level of the service.
The famous quote, "No Man is an Island" (taken from the writing of the same name by John Donne - 1624) is essentially why we exist and what we are all about i.e. we rely on each other, as an association of members, in order to achieve progress and further the collective will for the benefit of all.
That is why the Scottish LGBTI Police Association has a very simple mission. How that is ultimately achieved relies on you and the collective support from others from within the Association. Why stand on the shoulders of giants when you could equally make your mark?
Advance LGBTI equality, inclusion and support throughout policing in Scotland and within the communities we serve.
Join us today!