Equality and diversity
Our continued commitment is to equality, diversity, and inclusion, providing a policing service that meets the needs of all the public who use our service, as well as those that we employ and who volunteer for us.
We continue to work closely with key stakeholders such as independent advisory groups (IAG), staff support networks, Equality and Inclusion Partnership Warwickshire, Warwick District Faiths Forum, and local authorities to develop our equality, diversity, and inclusion agenda and ensure positive outcomes for all sections of our diverse communities.
An efficient, representative and fully resourced workforce will deliver the vision of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner of creating a safer, more secure Warwickshire. The emphasis in the plan is particularly given to delivering the policing priorities by a Force that reflects the demography of the County and the communities we serve.
To find out more, email our Consultation and Engagement team
Our equality objectives
We have reviewed and refreshed our Equality Objectives to reflect those within the National Police Chiefs' Council Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Strategy, following consultation with our internal staff support networks and our external independent advisory groups. We have also established a governance structure to deliver against these objectives, which will help us to monitor our progress more effectively and ensure we are delivering positive outcomes.
Our objectives focus on:
Transparency and scrutiny: we will maximise the transparency of our organisations to ensure our activities can be scrutinised to enable explanation or give evidence to enable reform.
Developing our workforce: we will develop our staff to better understand diversity, equality, and inclusion and the positive outcomes that will be delivered if we truly embed our response within our organisations. We will create an inclusive culture where people, no matter their background, feel confident to disclose their characteristics.
Understanding our workforce: we will better understand the composition of our workforce by ensuring we put in place systems that enable the collection, collation, and analysis of workforce data across the nine protected characteristics. We will put in place effective strategies that enable formal and informal engagement with our staff and support networks to ensure we better understand how we can continue to develop an inclusive organisational culture that promotes and embeds diversity and equality.
Understanding our communities: we will better understand the composition of our communities by ensuring that we put in place systems that enable the collection, collation, and analysis of community data and information across the nine protected characteristics.
Increasing confidence: we will deal effectively with all reported hate crimes and incidents, recognising that failure to do so has a detrimental impact on the confidence those communities have in the police. We will ensure that the code of ethics is embedded in all we do and is pivotal in our interactions with those we come into contact with.
Engagement: we will develop effective engagement strategies that enable interaction with all communities, fostering strong relationships that build trust and confidence.
Understanding the partnership landscape: we will work with partners to put in place systems that enable the collection, collation, and analysis of data and information which identifies disparity in service delivery across the nine protected characteristics.
Tackling disparity: we will work with partners to implement whole system strategies to explain, where necessary reduce, and where possible eliminate disparity and enhance public service.
Joint service delivery: we will work with our partners to develop strategies that enable more effective public service provision across our communities.
Our equality governance
Our equality, diversity, and inclusion work is overseen by the Diversity & Inclusion Board, which is internally focussed, and the Legitimacy Board, which is more operationally focussed. Both boards meet quarterly.
Diversity and Inclusion Board (Organisation)
This board was established to progress our workforce action plan and ensure that Warwickshire Police is working to becoming a more diverse and representative organisation. This board is chaired by Tania Coppola, Director of Enabling Services. Membership includes representatives from the staff support networks, who have been heavily involved in our Positive Action activities.
The objectives of the board are:
• To recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve across Warwickshire
• To create a working environment that values difference and fosters an inclusive workplace culture where staff feel safe, supported, and valued and can be confident that they will be treated fairly.
Legitimacy Board (Operational)
This board has been introduced to drive improvements in police legitimacy amongst the communities of Warwickshire, with a specific focus on stop and search, use of force, engagement, and diversity and inclusion. Chaired by Chief Superintendent Benjamin Smith, for Local Policing, the board provides monitoring, oversight, and scrutiny of existing activity, whilst seeking out innovation to drive continuous improvement. The board also works closely with HMICFRS to respond to recommendations and develop best practice in respect of police legitimacy.
The aims and outcomes for this board are:
• Direct and coordinate legitimacy improvement activity that addresses any areas for improvement identified by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS).
• Work closely with IAGs to ensure a collaborative approach that seeks the views of Warwickshire communities and promotes diversity and inclusion throughout policing.
• Maintain and improve the understanding and use of stop and search and use of force by Warwickshire Officers.
• Build on the Force’s existing approach to engagement, both at a local and strategic level, ensuring that every member of the community in Warwickshire has an opportunity to contribute.
• Through scrutiny and monitoring, identify any threats to police legitimacy and take immediate steps to mitigate against these.
• Improved understanding of stop and search data and specifically disproportionality data.
• Improved understanding of use of force data.
• Improved, evidenced-based, avenues of engagement, particularly in terms of communities with which we would like to engage, and minority groups.
• Improved public confidence
• Improved partnership working
The board's objective is to work in partnership with key stakeholders to increase confidence and satisfaction where communities feel safe, supported, and are confident that they will be treated fairly and legitimately.
The board will ensure that we have a comprehensive understanding of the diverse needs of our communities, identifying those who are most vulnerable, and tailoring our responses to meet their needs.
Strategic Independent Advisory Group (SIAG)
This group is made up of the Chairs from our Local Independent Advisory Groups (LIAG) and the two thematic groups, which are:
• Disability IAG
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender IAG.
IAG members are individual members of the public who act as critical friends to the police. They listen to, observe, and comment on our activities and policies. The thematic groups offer additional specialist knowledge, opinions, and guidance to us on issues impacting their communities.
Our legal duties
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 is the UK's discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fairer and more equal society. The Act protects people from discrimination, harassment, and victimisation in work, education, and when accessing services.
The Equality Act 2010 protects anyone who falls into a 'protected characteristic':
• Gender Re-assignment
• Marriage and Civil Partnership
• Religion and Belief
• Pregnancy and Maternity
• Sexual Orientation
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force across Great Britain on 5 April 2011. The Duty aims to embed equality considerations into the day to day work of public authorities so that they tackle discrimination and inequality and contribute to making society fairer. It means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work - in shaping policy, in delivering services, and about their employees.
The Equality Duty requires the force to show that in the decision-making processes, in service delivery, and our employment practices, we have had due regard to the need to:
• eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act
• advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
• foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
These are often referred to as the three aims or arms of the general equality duty.
As a public body, we are required to regularly publish equality information that demonstrates our compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty. This information is required to be published at least annually and equality objectives set at least every four years.
Please read our current and past Equality and Diversity Annual Reports below.
Equality and Diversity annual reports
In 2020, Warwickshire Police launched its first Positive Action Strategy which compliments the National Police Chiefs’ Council Policing Vision 2025 strategy and identifies how we can be truly representative of our communities as well as support our workforce to develop, and protect people from harm.
The police service is a community in which each and every member deserves to work in a fair and inclusive environment which values each colleague as their true selves. Positive action is a demonstration of our commitment to this and will serve as affirmation for all protected groups.
Positive action is the name given to measures under the Equality Act 2010 that promote equality of opportunity and the removal of barriers when they are in connection with a protected characteristic. Structures in our society mean not everybody starts from the same position, and there may be barriers which prevent people from achieving their potential.
Positive action is about levelling the playing field, and will also lead to a wider pool of skills, experience and talent from which to recruit.
Greater diversity equips the police workforce with the understanding it needs to better serve our diverse communities – this helps the service secure the trust and confidence of the public and aids effective crime prevention and commitment to justice.
Section 158 of the Equality Act 2010 allows positive action to support a protected group by minimising or overcoming a disadvantage, meeting a different need or encouraging participation in an activity where it is disproportionately low. To be lawful, the action has to be proportionate, and not discriminatory.
Our independent advisory groups and members of our staff support networks have made significant and valuable contributions to raising awareness amongst our newly recruited police officers of topics such as cultural awareness, race and religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and transgender identity.
You can view our Postive Action Strategy below:
Gender pay report
In line with other public sector and private companies, Warwickshire Police has published its annual report on gender pay.
Warwickshire Police is committed to recruiting, retaining, and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace that is reflective of our community and has increased the number of women in the workforce during the period reported on.
However, the force does acknowledge that it needs to continue making further progress concerning gender pay and supporting the progression of females within the workplace.