Ms C

Silhouette image via Wikimedia Commons

Ms C, a male who identifies as a trans woman, was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in October 2015. It is unknown whether C was convicted.

The mental health team at Southmead Hospital had refused to admit C who responded by trying to hang themself from a light fitting in the hospital. Police were called and C was taken into custody and charged with criminal damage.

The police allegedly asked the prisoner if they were ‘Mr or Mrs today’ indicating the prisoner was familiar to them and Gay Star News quotes C as saying “I asked them over and over to use my correct gender, but [the custody officer] and other officers persistently misgendered me.” The custody record included a reference to C as ‘he’.

C later alleged six causes of action against the police regarding the circumstances of the arrest and time in custody including denial of C’s request to be searched only by female police officers. These included assault, discrimination, harassment and numerous breaches of the Human Rights Act. The police subsequently admitted two of those claims, namely admitting a push to the head was assault and failing to adhere to their own guidelines for searching trans prisoners.

Avon & Somerset police conceded C’s right to be searched by female police officers with the proviso ‘notwithstanding the risks to the female officers’ and settled the claims outside court.

Media reports

Gay Star News archive

Bristol Post archive