PCC Lisa Townsend

By Julie Armstrong

neighborhood democracy reporter

Surrey’s law enforcement and criminal offense commissioner has been accused of being transphobic after she criticised LGBTQ+ charity and marketing campaign group Stonewall but women’s refuge organisers have defended her.

Stonewall’s eyesight is that folks born male who determine as girls need to be equipped to show up at women’s prisons and crisis centres, no matter if or not they have begun to changeover.

Lisa Townsend, who has been the Conservative  PCC part for three months, stated in an interview for Mail on Sunday that pushing to let pre-changeover trans women in these kinds of feminine-only environments was a “dangerous ideology”.

Mrs Townsend explained when she stood for election before this calendar year, problem about gender self-identification was “the single most significant challenge that loaded up my inbox”, and scores of females have responded on Twitter to her interview, thanking her for her “bravery in standing up for women”.

Cllr George Potter

But Pleasure in Surrey claimed they want to perform with the PCC “to educate on the issue of transphobia”, though Surrey councillor George Potter (Lib Dem, Guildford East) accused the PCC outright of being transphobic.

In the Mail interview, Mrs Townsend, whose position involves performing as a bridge concerning the Surrey Police and the public, explained: “Police forces, in an attempt to appropriate numerous of the wrongs committed towards minorities in the past, are currently being naive if they believe that that Stonewall are just about anything but a well-funded lobby team for a unsafe ideology that threatens the protection of our gals and ladies.”

She explained she is a believer in complete equality and experienced the moment been very pleased to guidance Stonewall, but it had “drifted so much from its original mission” that it was “now a threat to girls and threats putting feminism back again 50 years”.

Obtaining visited organisations supporting domestic abuse survivors, she explained: “The 1 thing that arrives by means of each and every time is how terrified they are of remaining forced to acknowledge males.

“These products and services are everyday living-conserving, and to several of the ladies who use them it is critical they stay single-sexual intercourse.”

She added: “Everybody has advised me not to converse-out about this, that the debate is incendiary, but if girls like me can’t or never communicate up, who will?”

Marc Jones, chair of the Affiliation of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC),  came to her defence, saying: “Some solutions quite merely just cannot functionality in a gender neutral way”, which Reigate MP Crispin Blunt claimed was an “evidence-no cost panicked response”.

Fiamma Pather is CEO of Your Sanctuary, a Surrey charity for survivors of domestic abuse which has single-intercourse refuges.

She instructed the LDRS: “Everybody can not be lumped into one particular and supported, it just doesn’t function.”

She reported everybody is deserving of help and their outreach service and helpline is there for every person but “one dimensions does not fit all”.

“The audio of a male voice can be definitely terrifying when they’ve been subjected to violence from males and shouting in a loud, deep voice,” she explained. “When you listen to that yet again it delivers back again that trauma, so they need some time.”

“Unfortunately persons are pretty quick to jump on the bandwagon that if you’re pro-girls-only spaces then you are automatically transphobic. I believe people don’t normally recognize the nuances and it’s a pity debate is generally shut down.”

Charlotte Kneer, CEO of Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid, also claimed gender-neutral expert services do not work for women who have experienced domestic abuse.

She stated: “Lisa arrived out to one particular of our refuges and was fascinated to know what the gals who reside there believed about the subject matter. We located her to be pretty supportive and seeking to listen and make a variance.

“We ought to be listening to the voices of the vulnerable women of all ages in the refuges. Even if their sights could be observed as unpalatable to some, they are susceptible and their sights should really be taken into account.”

Stonewall did not react instantly to the PCC’s criticism but instead defended its range champions programme: “We are very pleased of our operate with above 900 organisations to aid them build inclusive functioning environments where LGBTQ+ team can prosper as themselves”.

Surrey Police pays a membership payment to Stonewall for this programme and claimed it will carry on to be a member.

A spokesperson explained “Stonewall has been, and continues to be, a power for fantastic in Surrey” by supporting them to have an understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and activities and advise on inclusion.

The Law enforcement and Crime Commissioner’s Workplace instructed the LDRS: “Lisa would like to insert that she has not [as MailOnline reported], and would not ‘demand’ that Surrey Law enforcement halt working with Stonewall, but that she has manufactured her views pretty crystal clear from working day a single.”

A Surrey Police spokesperson added: “The Drive has put in position a broad and robust variety of activity to assistance guard gals and women from violence this sort of appalling conduct has no position in modern society and we function tough as a Pressure and with other organisations to beat this, through prevention and safeguarding, and by focusing on offenders and performing all we can to carry them to justice.

“The Power will continue to follow the guidelines set out below the Law enforcement and Legal Evidence Act and the Faculty of Policing’s Authorised Qualified Follow to make certain that any persons who discover as trans and non-binary subject to detention and/or queries are taken care of respectfully and that the correct treatments are followed in get to identify their favored gender.”

Delight in Surrey have asked for a conference with the PCC. They said they valued Surrey Police’s “long-standing assistance for the LGBTQ+ community” and turned down the thought that the PCC’s responses were being agent of the Surrey general public.

Pride promoter Kel Finan-Cooke said: “We know all too very well that the views of the elected, political Commissioner do not signify those of the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers or the community in Surrey.

“Often people’s views are based on misinformation and it is portion of our remit to support individuals in all areas of modern society in getting entry to the details. Satisfaction in Surrey wishes to do the job with the workplace of the PCC to teach on the challenge of transphobia.”