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Police forces in the UK are mainly based on a particular territory:

In November 2012 elections were first held for a Police and Crime Commissioner for every police force in England and Wales (except London). These posts replaced the Police Authority for each force [1]. Elections were subsequently held in 2016, 2021 and 2024 [2].

There are also some special police forces, such as the British Transport Police.

LGBT History

The relationship between police forces and officers and LGBT peoples underwent a complete transformation between the mid 1990s and 2010. Williams (2019) outlines the complete turnaround from the years when the LGBT communities were fearful of the police to an era when police forces employ many LGBT officers and staff and encourage and promote hate crime reporting [3]. In 1990 the Lesbian and Gay Police Association was established, later renamed The Gay Police Association. This group represented lesbian and gay police officers throughout the UK but was wound up in 2013. The National LGBT Police Network was set up during 2015.

Progess in relations between the police and lgbt communities in London has fallen back in recent years (in line with a drop in confidence by all communities in policing). This was commented on in the report by Louise Casey published in March 2023 [4].

The European Gay Police Association represents LGBT police officers in Europe. Peter Tatchell launched a campaign to get the police forces to apologise for the way they policed LGBT people in the past. It was launched in June 2023 and by April 2024 thirteen Chief Officers heading a police force had issued an apology [5].


  1. With the exception of the Metropolitan Police Force which comes under the Mayor Of London
  2. Covid prevented the 2020 Elections
  3. Clifford Williams (2019) 'Gay men and the police 1950-2010' in the Journal of the Police History Society no 33 pp56-60
  4. While the relationship between the Met and London’s LGBTQ+ community is vastly different to what it was in the last century, it has been in decline in recent years, the report says.Trust in the Met among LGBTQ+ Londoners has fallen at a faster rate than that among other Londoners over the last seven years and has coincided with criticism of the Met’s defensive handling of the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor by Stephen Port Discrimination, funding, public trust: what Casey says about the Met police The Guardian 21 March 2023
  5. Police chief apologises to LGBT community BBC 14 March 2024 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c89vj4j1qg2o