The Constabulary's Diversity Strategy has been relaunched, it focuses on key areas, such as race, gender issues, disability, age, mental health, gay/bisexual/transsexual and transgender issues, the gypsy and travelling communities, refugees and asylum seekers, youth issues, and religion or belief. We recognise that the service we provide should be tailored to suit the needs of individuals and we will continue to develop ways of ensuring that our service meets the differing needs.
The Diversity Unit, based at Headquarters in the Community Partnership Department, (comprises of Raj Patel, Community Cohesion Manager, and Police Constables Alison Austin, Claire Manley and Damian Lea) produced the new document to ensure the force provides fair and equitable services, both externally to our communities and internally to all our staff. The Strategy is designed to ensure that we continue to work with our communities to develop relationships that foster building the trust and confidence to all of our communities. It will help us develop positive methods of communicating and engaging with our communities in order to provide an appropriate policing response and to ensure that we consider the needs of the communities in developing our policing plans and services.
In a bid to tackle hate crime true vision packs have already been distributed to organisations and venues throughout the county allowing anyone who experiences, witnesses or learns of a hate crime incident to report the details, anonymously if they wish.
At the launch, the Assistant Chief Constable said: "Hate and race crime was one of the most distressing crimes for victims. Victims must be supported and hate crimes thoroughly investigated.
"We at Gloucestershire Constabulary share the belief that people who live, work and visit Gloucestershire should do so safely, confident that they will be treated with dignity and respect and in accordance with their differing needs."
The unit provides professional and practical advice to assist members of staff at both strategic and operational levels. The following are examples of subject areas where advice can be requested from the unit, however the list is not exhaustive and consultation can be sought on matters that affect staff or the delivery of service.
Internal employment matters
Issues of bullying, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia
Undertaking positive action initiatives
Advice on issues of disability, sexual orientation, religious belief
Advice on transgender and transsexual matters
Issues in relation to Stop Search
Advice on the reporting and investigation of Hate Crime
Prisoner custody matters
Policing public sex environments
Developing community relationships
Developing community intelligence
Undertaking community tensions and community impact assessments
Gypsy and Traveller matters
Mental health issues
Training requirements for staff
The main aims of the Diversity Strategy focused on:
Combating racism and other forms of hate crime.
Treating people courteously and sensitively.
Working in partnership with our communities, their representatives and other organisations.
Applying the principles of equality of opportunity to ensure that the police recruit, retain and develop an ethnically and culturally diverse workforce which reflects the communities they serve.
Ensuring that all police policies and practices comply with the Human Rights Act, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and other relevant legislation.
Valuing that all staff are trained to meet the requirements of this strategic aim and fully understand the need to prevent discrimination from occurring.