Psalm 121…….”My Help Comes From The Lord…”
Romans 8:31 “If God is for us who can be against us?”
I have to admit it has been a while since I last wrote a blog for LCPF, but I guess like many of us we have,
still are facing a number of battles that sometimes seem impossible to win.
The title here ‘Three Hours to Midnight’ is a book title that I have been playing with and thinking
about for my second book. The first book was released in 2014 titled ‘A Light In The Dark’.
The story centre’s around a Christian man faced with impossible odds and had to make some impossible
decisions to travel a journey from one gender to another driven by inoperable medical condition.
In retrospect I had considered re-titling the book to ‘Three Hours To Midnight’ yet for many of us with
different paths to tread, my guess is in this age we all face our own unique ‘Three Hours to Midnight’
decision of some kind or another.
When Jesus told his disciples about forgiveness He never told them to be weak about it, He never said cave in
or not to stand up. In recent times a change in line management has seen the end (or so I thought) of two
amazing programme I ran under the previous commissioner of the Met Police Sir Bernard Hogan Howe.
At it’s height it was an amazing testimony to what can be achieved through focus and prayer.
Much undertaken in my own time I would go out and meet different Transgender support groups, during the day
job I would run an intelligence gathering hub so we would know before things were likely to happen and
may need a policing presence to maintain public order. Under our new management it’s
all but gone now, yet along with its demise the risk go up however few are listening to my arguments
to keep it going alongside the question of Risk by not having a system in place.
Why did it shut down?
In a nutshell new line management decided to mark me down on a PDR this year 2017, the new
T/DCI threw a wobbly issued a veiled threat of management action unless my focus was back on the day job
so I did the most logical thing, shut everything down and resigned the staff association, it all seemed very dark
when considered that in over 42 countries (some which are very religious) actively seek out and arrest LGB&T
people, and if you’re T or Trans then in many of those 42 odd countries you run a real risk of a serious beating or worse…
2016 was dubbed the global murder year for Transgender people (2017 this week ending 24/09/2017 just exceeded the number)
against this backdrop we have done away with the outreach/intelligence package under the new management regime. I wanted
to cry but was numb, what to do? Lives would be at risk it all seemed too much. So shutting off
my cognitive processes to get through the working day, avoiding any unnecessary social interactions
a deep sense of calm came over me and a small voice in my head saying “Listen, it will work out, just follow what I tell you to do”,
one thing was clear I was not supposed to make a song and dance about it or have shouting matches with the opposition,
simply to remain calm and listen out for opportunities and go about my day-to-day business . I had to trust in the Lord,
even if it meant standing alone for I knew was right as it could save thousands of lives, especially in today’s communication age.
Resigning the staff association left some of my senior managers in disbelief, suddenly I am being called into meetings,
“Why did you do that, resign? Retract the resignation then it’s just a blip”. The spirit said “remain resolute in your decision”,
it all seems very crazy and yes we are still in the thick of it but here’s the thing: It is why we are in the thick of things
we see the hand of God move in the circumstances.
I am reminded of the story of Paul and Silas in prison in the book of Acts, beaten whipped, chained, left in dark
unhygienic conditions, most likely with a few household rodents for company, rather than look down they looked
up and the miracle happened.
The spirit guides me again, “Steph, you have skills use them” then it came to me, in the past my living was earned
in sales and marketing – now we are talking I thought. So as requests came in for my specialist expertise during working hours,
I turn them away saying “I no longer have authority to assist in that area” and redirect them to the staff association,
it is irritating to managers because I copy them in on the emails. A number of partner agencies and groups I worked with
on behalf of the Met are all being turned down when asking for my assistance, then an incident happened that is
likely to change the chain of events over time, will come to that in a bit….
(*** If this is boring you then leave now and pray for me, but if you are excited by the hand of God moving, then, please read on ***)
Saddest thing ever was recently brought to my attention, I had seen a captured You tube video of what happened to a 42 year
old early stage Transgender person in Brazil, dragged from her home, beaten, taunted, dumped in a wheelbarrow then wheeled
off to be murdered by these five male thugs, it was graphic and horrendous to watch yet makes the point (A picture is worth a thousand words!)
hold this thought for a moment:
Meanwhile MOPAC are calling me for a meeting, College of Policing are calling me in for a meeting, and through the outreach
work I did prior to shut down I receive a request for help. Victim had suffered Transphobic abuse on a tube train due to
her Transgender status (God cares for everyone without exception) she took two days to muster courage to approach police and report it,
unbelievably she was turned away. I spoke with BTP duty officer, told him their website boastmembership to the National
Trans Police Association (NTPA) They should crime it – they did, now BTP want to meet with me.
The Outreach stuff is now operating underground, not supported so much by the Met. BTP requested a meeting, we met and I found
out my experiences of line management difficulty is replicated across the UK in other force areas. MOPAC invited me to
their online Hate Crime Committee meeting some senior Met Managers were very surprised at my presence especially my
being welcomed personally by the chair (Surprise because I am using my annual leave to attend, meaning no constraints
to tow any particular party line) the beauty of this scenario is being I asked by The College of Policing to present these events as
a case study. Now MOPAC are involved and in October I am presenting to the College of Policing in Ryton
and including the You tube video to emphasize the point of being Transgender in 2017.
Sadly, a line manager on another team in our ‘office’ informs me of someone he knows has not only lost his wife
to breast cancer in 2013, he has now lost his 15 year old son by suicide the son born female, now identifying as male
got a lot of problems that led to his suicide, can we really afford to be blinded to what is going on in some of our communities?
When we are divorced from a situation, set apart and at a distance from others who are suffering, when such pain and
anguish does not touch our lives directly and we lack experience of their position coupled with (what I call work hardening)
leading to insensitivity eventually making us detached we begin to move off from the command that Jesus gave us
about feeding the poor, taking care of the weak, if we deny these things we deny ourselves and who we are representing (CHRIST).
I do not know where all this will end, I do know a lot of senior people are gradually getting concerned about the gaps these
management changes are causing, there may not be overnight miracles or instantaneous answers, what I do know is that God
is enabling me to acquire more tools to do even better and there is a possibility of a groundswell of support from all over
the UK from others equally trying to do the right thing against tide of new managers that are only concerned about
their immediate work arena’s, promotion and personal interest and nothing else.
There is a very deep message here, about trusting God, about walking through a dark valley of troubles with eyes firmly
fixed on the guiding light. As a final persuasive thought, every Transgender person I have ever met has an acceptance
that such incidents are not worth reporting, that low level abuse going about their day to day business is an acceptable risk,
that should worry all of us. How many more of us in different communities have the same attitude toward ‘Acceptable Risk’
and do not report it? The victim in the YouTube footage is named as Ms Dandara dos Santos pray for her family and
that the offenders are caught quickly.
The UK will now be counted in the November Trans Day of Remembrance stats due to the 15 year old hanging themselves
– it should put us all to shame for it was preventable with the right help.
As a final note I now believe my help with the BTP case (in my own time), my going to Ryton and presenting to the College
of Policing (in my own time) and operating the support mechanism from home (in my own time) will pay off enormously
and should be a hopeful source of embarrassment to authorites who claim to reflect the people they serve
for I am persuaded the Lord is not done with this circumstance or done with me in the middle of it all.
So be hopeful, be cheerful, look up not down, wait pray listen, enjoy some small
distractions and take some time out most of all as Joyce Meyer will tell you ‘God wants us to enjoy life‘ so be enriched
and lifted up, let’s go for it no matter what our circumstances. Another phrase I like from Joyce Meyer is “Do it afraid”
unto thee oh Lord may we all change the world a little bit for the betterment of all.
At this juncture all I can feel is shame we are letting communities down, the very communities we are to serve and protect
I pray for change and to re-establish the programme or to have something else in it’s place
May God bless you all and if you have a ‘Three Hours to Midnight’ decision to make walk with God and let Him lead you,
walk in faith see where He takes you, it may be fearful but God is on your side, He will make a way –
Bless you all