National Co-Ordination Group
The National Co-Ordination Group (NCG) are the elected leaders for the National LGBT+ Police Network, led by the Co-Chairpersons. Each are serving officers and police staff that volunteer to work on the NCG in addition to their roles in their respective forces. Click the images below to learn more about each member of the NCG.
For details of the Regional Representatives that feed in to the NCG, please visit the Regional Networks page.
About Police Constable Dan Low
I’m Dan, one of the Norfolk & Suffolk Co-Chairs for the LGBT+ Police Network and have been in this role since November 2019.
My day job is being a Response Officer for Suffolk Constabulary, based at Ipswich, which means I get to meet a variety of different people within the community on a daily basis.
I initially joined Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a Special Constable in 2009, to build my confidence – as I was a shy and quiet 21 year old! After several months of exposure to the policing world, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the remainder of my career and joined the ‘regulars’ in 2012. I eventually transferred to Suffolk and spent a year working in the Metropolitan Police Service.
I grew up in a village where there was no LGBT+ community and I had to work things out for myself. I had no role models to look up to and I had a very tough time coming out to my family and friends.
My experience empowered me to become a role model for those who needed support and show people it is okay to be your authentic self.
I am so proud to be a part of a National Network that strives for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and knowing that we are making a difference to both policing and the LGBT+ community. Education and Knowledge is power; it’s how we turn ignorance into understanding.
Discrimination is still very much alive both within the workplace and within our communities; I am committed to helping to eradicate all forms of discrimination and I am a big believer in working together as one to achieve this.
Remember, don’t be afraid to be your authentic self!
About Detective Sergeant Tracy O'Hara QPM
I am Tracy O’Hara and I was Co-Chair the National Network from 2017 to 2020.
I am a Detective Constable in Merseyside and this is my 24th year in policing. In the main I have worked in investigations across all areas of crime and most recently as the force’s liaison officer for crimes against sex workers. I began my career in uniform working in Liverpool city centre, which gave me an insight into serious crimes and made me know I had to become a detective.
I became involved in Merseyside Police’s LGBT+ Network around 2001 when I arrived at a crossroads in my career. The options were leave or stay. It was a tough work environment and I did not feel able to be myself; it was not okay to be gay and it was tough enough being a woman. I got tired of hiding who I was, who I was with and what I did at weekends – so I thought, leave, it’s the only option.
I spoke to my confidante – my trainer from Bruche (the police training school) – who told me: “Stay and change it from within. You cannot change it if you are not in it, go meet the gay police network”. So I did, and a new world opened up to me.
I became more involved and began as chair not long after. This kept me in the career I love – this is why I do what I do now as co-chair of this network of networks.
I still have that passion to change from within. I have seen many changes, some I never dreamt possible – marriage, pension and adoption rights, parenting, and such wonderful participation at community events, especially at local prides. The most satisfying though is those joining feeling able to be themselves. What a difference this makes to not just the person but to their police service. We are better motivated, we are driven and we stay in work when we can be ourselves. It is incumbent on all of us to create that environment for us all to flourish – and I mean all.
I aspire to be that person I needed when I was young and I will continue to be that person for others.
Tracy received the BAWP Officer of the Year award in 2009 followed by the International Officer of the Year award in the same year. In 2017, Tracy was awarded the Queens Police Medal for services to LGBT+ matters within policing
About Police Constable Al Smith
I’m a Police Constable with West Midlands Police, which I joined in 1998 because it was one of the few forces at the time that included sexual orientation in its equal opportunities statement. I’m an intelligence officer – a role I’d describe as supporting my colleagues to work smarter rather than harder to deliver intelligence-led policing.
I’ve been a member of my local LGBT+ staff network since I joined and am currently my force’s lead for gender identity, as well the network’s lead for trans matters. I was previously part of the executive committee of the National Trans Police Association since its formation in 2010 until it merged with the National LGBT+ Network in 2019, so this has helped for a smooth changeover.
I started my transition in 2007 and encountered various hurdles along the way, so the work I do is to ensure others have a smoother transition in the workplace. These hurdles weren’t intended, but there was a lack of embedding trans equality because it was perceived to only affect a small minority of people, despite the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations being introduced in 1999 and amended in 2008. It’s now been 10 years since the introduction of the Equality Act 2010, with its accompanying public sector equality duty to eliminate discrimination, to advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations. The current recruitment drive of police officers offers the police service a great opportunity to really deliver on this duty; to promote itself as an employer of choice for trans individuals who want to serve their community and make a difference.
My work also includes raising awareness across forces as to the main concerns of trans communities, which are not complicated and are on par with those of anyone: being treated in a respectful manner, so addressed by their correct name and pronoun, as well as sensitive information related to their gender identity being treated confidentially. I’d really like to see statutory anonymity that’s already in place for victims of serious sexual assaults extended to victims of LGBT+ hate crime, to remove one of the main barriers to reporting.
The current government’s LGBT+ action plan will also have an impact on forces, for example, in its areas relating to safety, workplace, rights and the law and data monitoring. There is much to be positive about despite the current tenor of public debate concerning those who are trans.
About Police Constable Paul Bloomer
Hello I’m Paul Bloomer, I’m a serving officer in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. I identify as Queer/Bisexual and I live with a disability. I’m proud to assist with Communications for the National LGBT+ Police Network.
I was raised by parents that came from opposite sides of the community divide in Northern Ireland. My parents instilled in me a deep respect for diversity, a strong desire for public service and also for social justice. They raised my sister and I to be solution driven, positive people and to try and make the world a little bit better as we pass through it. I always wanted to be a police officer but I never thought the policing institution was welcoming of LGBT+ people, I remember when I was 15 years old my career’s advice teacher in school telling me that I wouldn’t be suitable for the police because of my sexuality, this left me feeling dejected and resentful. At that time in the 1990’s there wasn’t any visible positive LGBT+ role models in Northern Ireland, at times I felt like I must be the only LGBT+ person in NI. I left Northern Ireland in 2002 like a lot of young LGBT+ people did, I’ve heard a phrase a lot of LGBT+ people who left Northern Ireland say, ‘We went away to be gay’.
I was in London in 2008 when I saw an advertisement for Police recruitment in an LGBT+ Magazine, it was like a lightbulb went on in my mind, the police would accept someone like me, I felt something that was always out of reach for me was now possible. I made the decision that I wanted to return to Northern Ireland and help be a positive role model for LGBT+ people in my home country. I joined the Police Service in 2010 following a career in marketing and banking. I’ve worked in a range of roles in policing including Police trainer, emergency response, community policing and as a liaison officer between the Court service and the Police Service NI.
I joined what was the Gay Police Association (GPA) on commencement of my service. I was one of three Police Service NI officers present at the launch of the National LGBT Police Network in Manchester 2015. After the launch we were the first Police Service NI officers to march in uniform at a Pride event. It was transformational for me, hearing the positive reaction from the crowd was deeply moving. An older woman from the crowd grabbed my arm, I could see tears in her eyes, she said she had left Northern Ireland as she had suffered discrimination for being LGBT+, she too had ‘went away to be gay’. She told me once she seen the Northern Ireland uniform she felt that some positive change had come over her home country and that seeing the Police Service NI there made her feel represented in a way she never expected. It was deeply moving for me, I had never stood in my police uniform and had people cheer and clap, it renewed my sense of Pride in my uniform and I wanted every officer especially those who are LGBT+ from my home service to experience the same. I also wanted the LGBT+ community in NI to see and know that they were supported by their Police Service. I knew that change was needed back home to allow this to happen and that I had a lot of work ahead of me.
I helped reform the GPA into the Police Service NI LGBT+ Network. I was part of the team which successfully lobbied for the first participation of Northern Ireland Police Officers in uniform in Belfast Pride in August 2017. We walked through the streets of Belfast, with 50,000 people cheering and clapping us, I looked around at the faces of my colleagues and I could see the positivity light up their faces. I felt like we had brought a little bit of positive change to my home country and I couldn’t be prouder of that. It’s so important that people have a variety of visible role models, I hope my work with the National LGBT+ Police Network contributes to positive representation and visibility of LGBT+ Police officers in Public life.
I currently serve as the Co-Chair of the Police Service NI LGBT+ Network. I also sit on the European LGBT Police Association general board and I’m the Northern Ireland representative to the National Coordinating Group of the National UK LGBT+ Police Network.
I would say to any LGBT+ person reading this, you are meant to be seen, you are meant to be celebrated. Live your life proudly and in the open. You are not alone, there are police officers out there who will work to help you and protect you. If you are suffering from hate crime, domestic abuse or any crime, please report it. Give us the chance to do something about it.
Please do not use this website, or any contact forms found within it to report crime.
Please call 101 to speak with your local police service in non-emergency situations.
In an emergency, please call 999.
To report a hate crime to your local police service, you can also visit the True Vision website.
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