31 October 2020
Raising awareness of the Federation’s work in equality
My life has been, and continues to be, dominated by issues relating to equality. It has been my work for the last 10 years and my personal passion for much longer - and yet when I took the role of Equality Lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) I really had no idea of the challenge I was taking on.
Inclusion is such a vast topic; it can be easy to get lost in the minutiae. Conversations I have had lately have focussed on things like language and cultural competence – this was a concept new to me, which I immediately saw the importance of and potential for. Every time I learn something new or hear about someone’s experience, I want to help raise awareness and shout from the rooftops.
The thing is though, inclusion and equality does mean that every single person is part of it. Whether they know it or not, every single police officer PFEW represents has been thought about at some point in terms of how we can make their professional and, by proxy, personal life better within our Equality Committee.
We deal with situations across the nine protected characteristics at every level within PFEW. I am so proud of the commitment and empathy my colleagues across the country demonstrate to people who come to us for help. We really try to make sure the voice of those who are struggling is heard. I know we make a difference to people’s lives.
I know I am going to continue to be inspired in the coming year, both by my colleagues who transform policy and workplaces, but also by the humbling sharing of the lived experiences of people who find the courage to speak out.
I hope more of you will join us and help with our vision of ensuring police officers experience an equal playing field and that our communities see British policing for what it is - a unique and people led force for good.
This past month we’ve been promoting our work to address equality, diversity and inclusion in policing. We’ve had some fantastic guest blogs from the likes of Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu QPM, and our very own Ian Ashton, Chair of the LGB&T+ Group. We want to continue to raise awareness of the work we’re doing and remind our members to come forward and talk to their local rep if ever they need advice or support. I know for myself that PFEW’s Equality Liaison Officers across the country are brilliant and treat every case with sincere care and compassion.