Leicester , United Kingdom

Everyday Policing for Equality

Leicestershire Constabulary Diversity Unit

September 24, 2012

Building equality and diversity into everyday policing

In 1993, Stephen Lawrence – a young black British teenager – was brutally murdered in a racist attack in London. The 1999 Macpherson report of the inquiry into his death, found the police to be institutionally racist, and heavily criticized the police for its handling of the case. For local authorities across the country, the challenge of how to embed equality and diversity principles into community policing could no longer be ignored.

Leicestershire’s Diversity Unit

The Leicestershire Constabulary Diversity Unit was established to coordinate existing programs and actively promote all aspects of diversity in the force as a strategy to improve community cohesion and protect minorities by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Today Leicestershire Constabulary is widely recognized as a leader in the field of diversity and good community relations, and is at the forefront of recruiting officers and staff to reflect the diverse ethnic make-up of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Approximately 40% of Leicester’s population has an ethnic minority background and the city is projected to become Britain’s first plural city, where no ethnic group will form a majority, within the next ten years.

The Leicestershire Constabulary Diversity Unit aims to provide an equitable workplace for all staff, and is responsible for centrally coordinating their equalities activities. The Diversity Unit is further responsible for providing specialist advice and guidance on all issues of diversity and equality which includes age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. It also oversees the force’s equality strategy, collecting and publishing comprehensive employment monitoring data to improve public accountability and analyze the impact of new policies more efficiently.

Increasing awareness of opportunities in the police force for members of minority groups is a key focus of the Diversity Unit. Recruitment events are held in community centres, mosques and through events organized by the police, such as the Khidmah sports event, as well as football and cricket matches organized by local groups. Officers are encouraged to attend local festivals, events and to contribute to local media and community radio stations. It’s all part of a strategy to gain recognition, trust and help generate a positive response to marketing campaigns aimed at increasing diversity in the force.

Ambassadors of Diversity

The Unit has an Equality Supporters Scheme, where individual officers are trained in equality rights and act as ‘ambassadors’ for diversity within the force. There are Equality Supporters in all departments and at a number of levels, and they provide support to other officers who feel they have been mistreated or harassed.

Another strategy which has proven very effective is the Emergency Interpreting Service. Leicestershire Police have a contract with a local organization to provide interpreters for non-English speakers going through the justice system. This service ensures that everyone understands their rights and receives equal treatment regardless of their background and language needs.

By embracing diversity and incorporating it into their organizational structures, decision-making processes and ways of communicating and managing, Leicestershire Constabulary are becoming a police force which better reflects and serves the interests of the diverse cultures and communities within which they operate.

Making it Work for You:

  • Collecting data and monitoring comprehensively is essential to understanding the ethnic make-up of your organisation, and improving employment practices.
  • Providing trusted interpreter services ensures that non-English speakers get a fair, efficient passage through the justice system.
  • Training individual officers as diversity ‘supporters’ throughout the organisation makes the equality strategy a part of day to day life, not just a bureaucratic policy.

For this Good Idea contact:

Leicestershire Constabulary , Leicestershire Constabulary Diversity Unit
Force Headquarters
St Johns Enderby
Leicester, United Kingdom,
LE19 2BX

For further reading :

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