Our Diversity Team co-ordinate and monitor the effectiveness of diversity across Kent Police and particularly in the training we provide. They also work with partner agencies and stakeholders to promote equality outside of the force.
Our Community Liaison Team is responsible for all external diversity engagement activities and co-ordinates the work of our Community Liaison Officers and independent advisory groups.
Equality Act 2010
Our current equality objectives are to:
Increase the number of black and minority ethnic (BME) officers to match that of the population in Kent.
Retain and develop BAME colleagues into specialist and supervisory roles.
Increase the number of women in specialist and supervisory roles.
Increase the numbers of officers and staff self-declaring sexual orientation, disability and religion.
The Single Equality Scheme is a public commitment to show how we'll meet our legal requirements.
It demonstrates how we promote equality in relation to: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation (also known as 'protected characteristics'. Meeting these requirements is the minimum standard we aspire to.
The Independent Police Advisory Group
The Independent Police Advisory Group (IPAG) provides a link between us and the different communities in Kent. They provide us with feedback from our diverse communities to help us improve our services.
The IPAG make a difference to policing in Kent by:
helping Kent Police to support victims of crime and anti-social behaviour
providing a link between the police and the communities of Kent
encouraging witnesses of crime to come forward
sharing feedback from the communities with the police and other agencies to help improve their services
How We Work
The IPAG consists of 15 people: the County Chair, the County Vice Chair and 13 members (District Chairs).
The County Chair and Vice Chair regularly meet with the District Chairs, other volunteers, senior police officers and other agencies to help improve the services provided to communities in Kent.
The 13 District Chairs meet with their District Commander, their local Community Liaison Officer (CLO) and a panel of local members.
There is one local Independent Police Advisory Group for each district (Gravesham, Dartford, Swale, Medway, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Ashford, Shepway).
We're committed to making sure equality and diversity underpins our organisation and we help our staff by providing support and networking opportunities. There are currently 6 staff support groups:
Kent Minority Ethnic Police Association
Gay Police Association (includes transgender support)
Disability Support Group (known as Crystal Clear)
Kent Network of Women (includes transgender support)
Christian Police Association
Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association.
It’s estimated over 20% of police time is spent responding to people with mental health difficulties. We realise the importance of making sure our officers and staff are trained on different mental health issues and that vulnerable people we come into contact with are well supported.
Time to change
We’ve taken the Time To Change organisational pledge. The pledge advises organisations to complete an action plan that sets out the activity they will undertake to tackle stigma and discrimination. Examples of this activity include:
Internal communications campaigns
Promotion of local mental health services and support
Training for staff that addresses the stigma around mental health
Events promoting wellbeing.
Understanding mental health problems is now an important part of the training we deliver to our officers. Experienced nurses regularly give advice on a range of mental health issues when they attend our new recruit programmes and police officer refresher training.
The appointment of a champion for mental health within the force is helping us deliver workshops about managing mental health and challenging the stigma.
A series of training videos available to officers and staff has also helped with awareness of conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, confusion and schizophrenia.