Joined-up government, 'community safety' and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender 'active citizens'



McGhee D (2003) Joined-up government, 'community safety' and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender 'active citizens'. Critical Social Policy, 23 (3), pp. 345-374.

Joined-up government, modernizing government, community safety and multi-agency partnerships are explored here in an attempt to understand the contemporary `policing' of hate crime; in this instance, crimes and incidents motivated by homophobia (and transphobia). In the first half of the article, the focus is on the social and political context of the emergence of `participatory' modes of government and multi-agency `community safety' policing in response to the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and the 1999 Local Government Act. In the second half of the article, the focus will be on the multi-agency response to homo-phobic and transphobic incidents and the policing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) community in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In this case study, the main assumptions behind the attempt to create lgbt `active citizens' and `active communities' (active in their own policing) in Southampton, in particular, will be critically evaluated. The main points that will be raised here are: 1) the multi-agency response to homophobic incidents in Southampton prioritizes, first, improving efficiency and raising awareness in the agencies and services that are in contact with the lgbt community, and, second, opening lines of communication and building trust between police and the organizations and agencies `representing' the lgbt community; and 2)empowerment programmes such as these should not be taken at face value, but must be critically examined in relation to some of the following questions: who is and who is not being invited to be the active `lgbt' citizen here? And does the lgbt community's right to fair, sympathetic and equitable policing bring with it hidden and costly responsibilities?

hate crime; homophobia; local government; multi-agency partnerships; social cohesion

Critical Social Policy: Volume 23, Issue 3

FundersUniversity of Southampton
Publication date31/08/2003

People (1)


Professor Derek McGhee
Professor Derek McGhee

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences