The public-sector Equality duty, which came into force in 2011, places a legal duty on public authorities to get rid of unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to promote equal opportunities and encourage good relations between everyone. Delivering this duty is at the core of our business and our vision for equality.
The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. These are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Monitoring Northumbria Police Progress
The Commissioner monitors the Force’s progress regarding equality and diversity through the ongoing scrutiny programme.
Our Vision and Equality Objectives
The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people; she is committed to improving community engagement to bring communities, local partners and the police closer together whilst holding the police to account and ensuring an efficient and effective police service.
Our vision for equality and diversity is one where everyone, whether a member of the public or staff is treated fairly and with respect, and has the right to the same opportunities, freedom and equal access to services.
We value and celebrate the differences of individuals and communities by embracing people’s different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture to strengthen communities.
Following extensive consultation with communities and local partners, our Police and Crime Plan was refreshed and our equality objectives sit within the wider context of this plan.
We have developed a comprehensive EDI Business Plan which helps us to achieve our vision and to deliver our joint equality objectives with Northumbria Police. We have listened to our communities, workforce and partners to inform and tailor the objectives, which are summarised below:
- We will provide services, which embrace diversity, providing fair and responsive services to the communities we serve.
- We will seek to have a workforce that is representatives of the communities we serve, provide an inclusive working environment and ensure all staff have similar opportunities to develop their potential.
- We will continually review our efforts through targeted intelligence gathering and analysis to promote a culture of continuous improvement to deliver better services to our communities.
- We will ensure a coherent vision of equality which sits within the wider business framework and is shared and owned by us, our leaders, our workforce and partners.
We have also ensured that our objectives are aligned to the national Association of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (APCC) Equality Framework.
For Northumbria Police, Vision 2025, sets out their road map for policing in the coming years and ensures EDI is truly embedded into the workforce and into the services they provide.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIA)
We undertake EIAs which is a dynamic tool to help us ensure that our policies, practices and decision-making processes are fair and do not present barriers to participation or is advantage to any protected groups. To do this, it is necessary to understand the potential impacts of any internal and external policies and activities on different groups of people and where the difference is disproportionate, action is taken to mitigate or minimise it.
Engagement and Consultation
Engaging with and listening to our communities is vital as it enables us to deliver services that are responsive to the needs of our communities. The PCC is committed to building trust and confidence through open and honest conversation with diverse groups. For instance, she invited people with lived experience of being stopped and searched to join the Police Powers External Scrutiny Panel, whereby Panel members provide robust challenge and oversight to the disproportionate use of stop and search and use of force.
The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) focus their engagement in areas most in need, where there are high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour. They work with individuals with ‘lived experience’ to better connect with communities and improve their access to services and support at the earliest opportunity.
Equality profile of the OPCC
To ensure equality of opportunity we review equality monitoring information on a regular basis. We analyse the information relating to the OPCC and for all new positions that we recruit to. The equality profile of the OPCC as of August 2022 is as follows:
|Number of staff||41|
|Percentage of women||71%|
|Percentage of ethnic minorities||5%|
|Percentage with a disability||5%|
In line with the national picture, unfortunately we have seen hate crime rise in recent years. As a result, our fight against hate continues and we are determined to bring about positive change. The PCC scrutinises Northumbria Police’s performance data on satisfaction levels of victims of hate crime and the work undertaken by the police to support victims.
The OPCC have commissioned a local voluntary service to provide a nationally recognised Advocacy Service which takes an innovative approach in supporting victims of hate crime to cope and recover.
Northumbria Police works with partners through Hate Crime Tension Monitoring groups, where local issues are identified and partners working together, intervene to prevent and reduce further incidents
The OPCC works with Northumbria Police, third sector partners and communities on a range of activities such as the promotion of the Hate Crime Champions Scheme, to challenge intolerance and hate, promoting diversity and inclusion – Hate Crime Champions continue to be recruited.
National and Local Equality Reports
The Commissioner considers local and national reports to help gain a sound understanding of our communities including the extent of inequality and disadvantage. This helps us when we are making decisions and setting priorities. A selection of resources is provided below:
- The ONS holds a wide range of local data including information about population, demographics, deprivation.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission – the website includes a host of research reports on equality, diversity and human rights matters.
- Home Office Equalities Office – website with information about the Equality Act 2010, the Equality Strategy, Women’s’ Equality and Equalities Research