Gay man? Have the police asked you for DNA samples? See the advice on Operation Nutmeg from the Galop website, and ACPO’s new guidance. Aurora is waiting for comment from Croydon Division. For more information see Pink News.
Croydon marks Trans Day of Remembrance
On 17th November, the Saturday before the International Trans Day of Remembrance, Croydon Trans Group joined with Aurora at 8pm to for a remembrance ceremony and social gathering at St Stephen’s Church Norbury and Thornton Heath. For details see www.TDoR.org.uk under "2012 - Croydon".
David Kay steps down as Croydon's Liaison Officer
Aurora members were sad to hear that PCSO David Kay had stepped down from his role as Croydon's LGBT Police Liaison Officer. David took over this role in early 2007, and was a very active and dedicated Liaison Officer. With the Met's new emphasis on "total policing" it is likely that we will not have a dedicated LGBT Liaison Officer in future, although there is clearly a continuing need for Liaison Officers in some form. David had shown a great deal of enthusiasm and commitment in his work. We shall miss him greatly.
The background to the Aurora website in April/May 2012 showed daffodils in a lawn. They were planted at the front of the Unitarian Church, on the Flyover, to brighten up the centre of Croydon as part of the celebration on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (20th October 2011). The Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated each annually in memory of the people who had been murdered in the previous year for being transgendered.
In December 2011 a local press article published a story that the popular Shooshh nightclub had ejected a gay couple for kissing. Our LGBT liaison officer, PSCO David Kay went to the club and met one of the couple, who insisted that he had been treated absolutely fairly, and that he, not Shoosh had been out of order.
LGBT History Month
Croydon's LGBT groups once again celebrated LGBT History Month in February 2011. The events included a special LGBT police question time with the Borough Commander in the Council Chamber, Croydon Town Hall (organised by Crocus and supported by Aurora). Aurora was also amongst the groups featured in a month-long display in Croydon Library
See www.lgbt-croydon.org.uk/lgbthm for more details and photos.
Aurora holds its Annual General Meeting
16 November 2010
Aurora held its 2010 AGM at Croydon Town Hall as part of the normal November Main Meeting. Community Members were elected unopposed as Community Representative, , Deputy Community Reprsentative, Treasurer and Webmaster. There had been no nomination for Administrator, but the Treasurer agreed to continue to act in this capacity.
Black History Month
Aurora members were involved in the events celebrating Black LGBT History, as part of Black History Month, October 2010.
Spotlight PSE Group
In early 2010 Aurora found that some hate crime problems Croydon was having with its cruising grounds were also occurring across London, as they were across the country. As a result, it worked with Galop, to form an independent London-wide forum to include professionals and LGBT consultation groups to share strategies to reduce hate crime.
LGBT History Month 2010
Aurora members, and our local LGBT Liaison Officers, took part in events to celebrate LGBT History Month in Febrary 2010. See www.lgbt-croydon.org.uk/lgbthm.
Trans Day of Remembrance 2009
21 November 2009
The London event for the 2009 Trans Day of Remembrance took place on the 21st of November in Gower Street.
Aurora AGM – new officers elected
10 November 2009
Aurora held its 2009 AGM on the 10th of November at Croydon Town Hall. Three candidates were all elected unopposed to fill the five vacancies for officers. More volunteers would be welcome.
London Pride 2009
For the first time, Aurora was represented at London Pride 2009.
17 May 20090
For IDAHO 2009, we celebrated 26 transgendered people who had been murdered during the previous year.
Inquiry into the murder of Kellie Telesford
16 April 2009
April 16th 2009 a meeting took place in Croydon police station to review concerns about the investigation into the murder of Kellie Telesford.
In the event two representatives of the Serious Crime Unit attended, and Lesley Burton, who heads the Crown Prosecution Service. Several civilians attended, and all those who requested a place were able to attend (even one for whom no place had been reserved because we'd forgotten to include his name).
25 November 2008
A new law to prevent forced marriages comes into force today, 25th November 2008. It also protects those who have already fallen victim.
Anyone trying to force someone into marriage risks up to two years in prison.
There is a new Forced Marriage Protection Order. A victim, a friend or the police can apply for one. It will forbid families from actions such as taking people abroad for marriage, seizing passports or intimidating victims.
Lesbian and gay people have been deeply affected by forced marriage or the fear of it. But until today it has only been a policing matter where other offences or other policing issues involved.
But most victims will be afraid to use the legislation, and the government has taken very positive steps to support them. (See the page on Forced Marriage.)
Internet Dating Attack in Streatham
25 November 2008
The Pink Paper published a report of a conviction for an attack that nearly left the victim dead in a burning house. More
Transgender Day of Remembrance
23 November 2008
23rd November 2008
Dragon Hall, Stukeley Street, Covent Garden
An opportunity to remember, mourn and celebrate trans lives lost to violence or suicide.
The Transgender day of Remembrance is an opportunity for trans people, their friends, families and allies to come together in a safe space to reflect on those trans people who have lost their lives through violence or suicide because they are trans. It is a time to remember, mourn and celebrate them and to tell their stories so they are not forgotten. More
New LGBT liaison officers
13 November 2008
Croydon Division has committed to have 20 trained LGBT liaison officers, evidence of the commitment to LGBT people in Croydon. By November 2008 18 of them had completed their training.
Mark Gore moves on
31 October 2008
Our Borough Commander is moving on after over three years. He looks back over what has been achieved in Croydon over this time, and outlines hand-over arrangements. More
Proposal to close Aurora
9 September 2008
Kellie Telesford - accused not guilty
14 August 2008
The 18-year-old Shanniel Hyatt, accused of strangling transsexual Kellie Telesford, was found not guilty today, August 14th.
Call for nominations
In November 2008 Aurora elects new officers. Aurora may well not continue if there are not enough people to fill the posts.
Please consider volunteering.
Shanniel Hyatt, who was 17 at the time, was accused of getting angry in Kellie's Thornton Heath flat, when he discovered that she was transsexual, of strangling her and stealing items including her Oyster card, which he used to get the bus home.
Hyatt denies the accusation and claims that Kellie was alive when he left her.
Jay Evans, a GHB addict, has launched a campaign and a new website, www.knowGBL.org.uk, to criminalise sale of GBL, which is now easily available over the Internet and widely used on gay clubs. It is often believed to be a 'safe' drug alternative. Ingesting it produce GHBs. The website contains a petition to Downing Street. Article from Pink News c June 4th 2008. [Note the website seems since to have disappeared].
17 May 2008
On May 17th 2008, IDAHO, the International Day Against HOmophobia, Aurora spoke to people at the Bird in Hand about LGBT crimes against them.
Aurora's 5th birthday
6 May 2008
On May 6th 2008, we look back on over a dozen achievements.
In February 2008 the 20-year-old Sonny Lockwood was sentenced to ten years in prison for an arson attack in January 2006 on the home of a gay couple, in the estate where he had made so many other people's lives miserable.
YouTube kiss video - School Bullying
A 15-year-old suspected of forcing two schoolboys to kiss while filming them has been arrested and bailed by police. Footage of two St Joseph's College students kissing appeared on YouTube. It showed the boys being forced to kiss each other on their knees. It is understood the pupils were accosted on their way home from the college in Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood. The suspect was arrested on February 1 on suspicion of attempted robbery, false imprisonment and outraging public decency.
Murder of Kellie Telesford
In November 2007 we heard that Kellie Telesford had been murdered in Thornton Heath.
New LGBT Liaison Officer
It's official! Our new LGBT Liaison Officer is David Kay. David is to be our first full-time LGBT liaison officer, and as he is a Police Community Liaison Officer he will not be called away on other duties as our last officer was.
The Independent LGBT Advisory Group to the Met has published a review of the investigations of some gay murders from recent years.
IDAHO May 17th 2007
17 May 2007
At 7pm in our usual meeting in the Town Hall we had a short ceremony for IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia.
It was nothing like the previous year's event. It was short and sweet. But not silent!
In January 2007, the London Paper reported that a health warning has been issued after fake condoms hit high street shelves. Experts said packets of "Durexx Gossamer" - fake copies with an extra "x" - seized by trading standards officers could spell disaster for lovers. The fakes are copies of a variety of condoms made by the well-known brand Durex.
More lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to get involved.
Aurora is tiny - we need you.
We're making a big effort to get more people involved.
- Perhaps you want only to join the mailing list.
- You can join just to raise just one issue.
- We specially need more women and more black and ethnic minority people.
- You can join in by e-group, you don't have to attend meetings.
To do any of these, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07733 286954).
Aurora at Brighton Pride
Good news for Asylum Seekers
Aurora is helping lesbian and gay asylum seekers keep within the law.
It's hard for lesbians and gay men who've escaped persecution by the authorities in their own country to tell the authorities here the real reason they were persecuted.
Our authorities tend to distrust claims based on sexuality: anyone can say they are gay.
Sexuality is seen very different in other cultures. But very western ideas are used to decide that an applicant is not gay. They have included the number of children the applicant has and whether the applicant knows who Barbra Streisand is.
The Home Office's research on danger zones around the world is out-of-date compared with other government departments. So people often get sent back to torture, rape and murder, because official records of atrocities don't exist yet.
So genuine lesbian and gay asylum seekers often decide to 'disappear'.
0207 620 6010
Tue Wed Thur - office hours
Aurora has just managed to get multilingual posters telling asylum seekers the helpline number of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. This provides advice and the specialist legal support to which they are entitled and which is necessary to make a valid application. it is also the gateway to other services that are properly provided for them.
This will help more people to make valid applications and it will save time wasted when the grounds of asylum are changed late in the process. But we intend that fewer genuine asylum seekers will 'disappear', to work illegally, become vulnerable to criminal exploitation and blackmail and be denied access to essential services, including the police and justice system.
At the March Aurora meeting the Police told us of an incident that began in a cruising ground in Croydon. It ended with one man threatening the other with a knife in an attempt to steal his car. The incident was significant in that it occurred after they had had sex together.
There have been similar events in other cruising grounds where someone robs or assaults a cruiser after having had sex. This gives them the advantage of gaining the confidence of the victim. The moral does not need stating.