Equality and Diversity
Valuing difference is a core organisational value for South Yorkshire Police (SYP). This drives how we treat the public we serve as well as one another. In order to handle incidents and information effectively, our policies, processes and interactions must be fair, inclusive, accessible and responsive.
Our commitment to promoting equality, valuing diversity and respecting human rights is central to providing excellent policing service. We know that organisations that deliver high standards on equality, diversity and human rights (EDHR) deliver high standards for their services generally. We strive to be one of those organisations
The Equality Act 2010
Many separate pieces of equality legislation are brought together within the Equality Act 2010, which has extended and enhanced protection for people in relation to the following characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Civil partnership and marriage Pregnancy and maternity Race (or Ethnicity)
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
Our organisation is a public authority and is subject to general and specific elements of the Act’s public sector equality duty. The general duty requires us to have due regard, in carrying out our functions, to the need to:
eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
advance equality of opportunity between those with and without shared characteristics; and foster good relations between those with and without shared characteristics.
We will promote equal access to our services for all members of the public, and tailor those services to meet people’s individual needs.
We will comply with the general duty in the ways we manage our people and the organisation.
South Yorkshire Police takes a proactive and inclusive view of equality, diversity and human rights. Therefore, this strategy applies to all of the protected groups, exceeding the legal requirement in some instances. Examples include providing protection for transgender people who are not
reassigning their gender, and considering requests for reasonable adjustments, irrespective of whether their circumstances meet a legal definition of disability.
We set out an ambitious vision and intend to be bold about how we tackle the challenges involved.
South Yorkshire Police will be an exemplar organisation, demonstrating excellence in equality, diversity and human rights issues across all areas of policy and practice, and influencing others through the high standards that we set.
In all aspects of our work we will deliver:
Fairness Integrity Respect Standards Trust
These watchwords comprise the South Yorkshire Police FIRST principles.
The organisation’s vision statement will be realised over the next four years through all of our staff
working together to achieve:
An understanding of the different needs of service users, so that we are able to provide an accessible and responsive service to all who need it
A workforce that includes a diverse range of people at all levels, reflecting the population we serve and the pool of available workers
An open, respectful and inclusive culture
A reputation for understanding and managing EDHR effectively
Achieving the Vision Objectives
We want to be a more engaging and responsive organisation, accessible to service users and considerate of their different needs. Our equality objectives for 2013-2015 are:
- Develop a forum to engage with under-represented groups within South Yorkshire Police Develop a framework for effective monitoring of workforce representation, that informs planning and progress towards greater reflection of the population served
Foster and resource the use of positive action techniques to increase applications for vacancies and promotion into roles where under representation exists
- Prepare, consult upon and publish an EDHR Strategy for SYP
- When publishing information about grievances recorded and how they are managed, include evidence of lessons learned and how they are to improve fairness and service user satisfaction
- Develop an engagement framework in relation to police complaints from the public
- Develop performance frameworks relating to user satisfaction of victims and witnesses, broken down by population group
- Improve accessibility of South Yorkshire Police and Safer Neighbourhood web-sites Meet national workforce assessment targets for National Occupational Standard AA1 in diversity
- Develop monitoring and planning frameworks to identify and tackle any disproportionality in custody, bail and disposal
The strategy will use the EDHR management tools employed by the College of Policing: The Equality Improvement Model and The National Equality Dashboards and Reports.
The Equality Improvement Model gauges organisational performance in the performance categories of Operational Planning, People & Culture and Organisational Processes. These indicators support forces to identify the key activities and areas where they can focus local objectives to support their policing plans and equality strategies.
The national Equality Dashboards and Reports are published indicators providing snapshots of force performance across a range of functions and activities with high relevance to equality, diversity and human rights.
This organisation-wide strategy needs to be understood and owned across South Yorkshire Police.
The specific actions to deliver the Strategy will be agreed and published each year, along with details of the person or department responsible. This will mean that the ownership and accountability for individual pieces of work is clear. Action progress is monitored at the organisation’s strategic diversity meeting, chaired by the Chief Constable. This will mean that work towards the equality, diversity and human rights vision becomes part of our mainstream activity.
The relationship between SYP and its people is described in its People Strategy. This involves the following priorities:
Align HR policies and procedures to business objectives in order to ensure all managers and those with supervisory responsibilities are at the centre of all people management decisions
Facilitate a competent workforce
Measure workforce performance and the value of the police officer and police staff contribution
Deliver collaborative, professional and competent HR expertise
In South Yorkshire Police, signs of our commitment to EDHR are to be found throughout our various functions.
In managing the performance and conduct of all our staff, we assess their respect and ability to work effectively with others. This runs through all our recruitment and selection activity, as well as the published standards of expected behaviour.
Whether training recruits or developing existing staff, we ensure that the themes of equality, diversity and human rights are ever-present components.
To serve people’s varying needs and add confidence we maintain a range of staff support associations, including a women’s network, a LGBT network and a local Black Police Association.
In relation to the public, our commitments are to engagement and consultation, so that we can understand the needs of different communities and individuals. This enables us to make our services as inclusive and widely accessible as possible.
To build transparency, we publish information about ourselves and invite partners and service-users to provide feedback and comment.
In managing organisational performance, we monitor service user satisfaction across a range of functions and activities and compare our achievements with those of similar organisations.