University Of Tasmania

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“You’d just cop flak from every other dickhead under the sun”: navigating the tensions of (in)visibility and hypervisibility in LGBTI police liaison programs in three Australian states

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 16:23 authored by Angela DwyerAngela Dwyer, Ball, MJ
This article examines the different ways that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) police liaison officers in three states of Australia conceptualized and problematized the public visibility of LGBTI police liaison services. In a climate where LGBTI police liaison services are a prominent model for building relationships between police and LGBTI people, this article considers, through interview data with LGBTI police liaison officers, these officers’ perceptions of the role that the visibility of these programs played in their success. Specifically, it explores the tensions and difficulties for officers and LGBTI communities resulting from the general invisibility of liaison officers themselves (and, by extension, these programs), as well as the problems that increased visibility of these programs might bring to officers, to LGBTI communities, and to policing work itself. Although enhancing the visibility of liaison services may be an important goal, this research suggests that careful consideration is required regarding how this visibility is produced and maintained, particularly given the concerns that officers reported about the potential risks posed by adopting new forms of visibility, including the risk of hypervisibility. This article questions the conventional view that increased visibility is unproblematic and is the key to the success of such programs.


Publication title

Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice








School of Social Sciences


Sage Publications, Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Criminal justice