LGBTIQ+ and the police

There are a number of assumptions as to why crimes against LGBTIQ+ people are not reported. Reservations about the police among the LGBTIQ+ community play a big role. Some LGBTIQ+ people worry the police won’t take them seriously or will discriminate against them, or that they won’t take action for LGBTIQ+ people.

I can find more information on the low rate of reporting here

Worries and scepticism about the police within the LGBTIQ+ community might be the result of a problematic history between these two groups. In Germany, for example, homosexuality was a crime until 1969 and was not fully decriminalised until 1994 when Paragraph 175, which contained criminal sanctions for homosexuality, was finally abolished. Actions taken during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, insensitive media reporting on LGBTIQ+ people and inappropriate reactions from wider society to LGBTIQ+ people live on in the community’s collective memory.

Despite the historically negative relationship between the LGBTIQ+ community and law enforcement, and the police in particular, it is worth noting that since then a lot has changed for the good within the police force. The clearance rate for hate crime is regularly equal to the good clearance rate for crimes in general. Now might be the time to rethink the assumption that the police won’t do anything and to share with one another our own experiences with the police, especially at joint events and campaigns.

By supporting this campaign and the partnership with the community, the Munich Police is sending a clear sign that they are on the side of the community when it comes to anti-LGBTIQ+ hate. Joint events and campaigns are intended to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community and to break down prejudices on both sides. The Munich Police are also taking steps within the organisation to teach their officers about LGBTIQ+ issues and raise awareness.

I can find more information on the project here

Nevertheless, with around 5,000 police officers working in Munich, officers might still make an incorrect assessment of a situation, show a lack of sensitivity towards LGBTIQ+ people or even exhibit a hostile attitude. It is important to the Munich Police that these incidents get reported so that they can take appropriate action and ensure that the officers in question live up to their duties.

If I get the impression that the police:

  • are treating me inappropriately or disrespectfully
  • are not taking me seriously as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer person, or
  • are even make derogatory comments about me

I can and should make a complaint about the officer(s). Making an objectively reasonable complaint will not have any negative consequences for me.

According to the Bavarian Constitution, everyone has the right to make a complaint about the police and to be informed of the outcome of the internal investigation.

Generally speaking, I or witnesses may submit a complaint at any police station. This complaint can be made in any form and submitted by e-mail, post or a contact form. No matter how I contact the police, the case will be forwarded to the right place. While complaints are not subject to any time limits, it is advisable to report complaints as early as possible. If a police officer is reported for a crime, the senior official in charge of the force will be informed and will take receipt of this report.

The HR department will request an opinion from the officer(s) in question regarding every incident that is reported. The case will be reviewed and evaluated. I will be informed of the outcome in writing. Should the complaint indicate that the officer(s) involved has/have acted criminally or if the person making the complaint files a police report right away, the case will be passed to the State Criminal Police Office who will then handle the case.