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Warwickshire Police joining forces to commit to gender equality

Warwickshire Police has joined with police forces across the region, as well as those throughout England and Wales, to commit to gender equality this International Women's Day.

As part of International Women's Day, it has been confirmed that all 43 police forces in England and Wales, along with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, have made a commitment to the United Nations' HeForShe movement.

This achievement was announced today (8 March) on the final day of the Senior Women in Policing 2019 Conference, being held this week in Birmingham. The conference, hosted by the Warwickshire, West Mercia, Staffordshire and West Midlands Police forces, was timed to provide the opportunity to celebrate International Women's Day and the announcement. The conference aims to be a catalyst for change, creating a lasting legacy for women in policing which goes beyond the conference itself, with delegates returning to their forces inspired and encouraged to share their learning and put plans into action.

HeForShe, initiated by UN Women, invites people around the world to stand together to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality. Each force has expressly committed to improving gender imbalances at senior levels in policing, and to continue to work towards communities free from domestic and sexual abuse.

Alex Franklin-Smith, Assistant Chief Constable at Warwickshire Police, said: "As a force, we firmly believe that gender equality should not just be a female issue, but a human rights issue, and we are proud to be among the forces to sign up to the HeForShe campaign on International Women's Day.

"Under the HeForShe banner, Warwickshire Police has signed up to three key pledges: to engage the workforce in gender equality and to close the gap on gender imbalance at senior levels; to tackle domestic violence and sexual abuse within society as the key crimes which perpetuate the power imbalance amongst genders; and to support the annual reporting of gender equality.

"We are already working on the action plan which governs the pledge, and will have a real impact on issues such as work life balance and maternity policies, eliminating bias, recruitment and retention of our staff and taking a positive stance against domestic violence, and will report our progress to the National Police Chiefs' Council."

Chief Constable Giles York of Sussex Police, the Thematic Champions for HeForShe, said: "This International Women's Day marks a positive step towards achieving gender equality. Police forces throughout the UK have stood together and made a commitment to achieve gender balances within policing."

Other services within policing have also made their commitment to HeForShe, including the Association of Special Constabulary Officers, British Transport Police, College of Policing, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Police Scotland and the Superintendents' Association.