Lancashire Constabulary has given its full commitment to a new national Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy which aims to make policing more diverse and inclusive, and build confidence with groups who historically have lower levels of trust in policing.
The strategy comes with a new toolkit designed to help forces attract and retain more people from underrepresented groups. Both are based on independent research from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).
`Deputy Chief Constable Sunita Gamblin has welcomed the strategy and toolkit. She said: “This new strategy shines the spotlight on diversity in all its various forms, making senior police leaders clearly accountable for ensuring that policing becomes much more representative of its communities.
“It's based on national research which has shown some police officers and staff felt a lack of accountability from senior leaders was impeding progress in this important area.
“Here in Lancashire, a county rich in diversity, a great deal of good work is already underway to ensure our workforce reflects our local communities and that we have a good relationship with our communities, however, there is still a lot of work for us to do.
“I welcome this new strategy which will give us a really clear focus, along with practical resources like the toolkit to help us make better use of the talents and skills of people from all backgrounds.
She concluded: “Making sure we are more representative of the communities we serve is absolutely the right thing to do and vital for a number of reasons. A diverse workforce is more innovative, makes better decisions and is far more successful at building trust; and with greater trust, people are more likely to report their concerns and work with us to resolve them.
“We've given our full commitment to the strategy and I look forward to working with officers and staff across the force to help deliver it."
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "I passionately believe in equality and diversity and fund specialist staff to reach out to communities to increase representation and improve relations between communities, stakeholders and police. I fully support the recommendations from this strategy, particularly around the need to build better networks and improving coaching and reverse mentoring and reviewing promotion and lateral progression policies to remove the risk of unconscious bias in decision-making. It is vital that we build confidence with groups who have low levels of trust in policing and I'm pleased to see the Constabulary's commitment to this work. "