Further to concerns raised at an Embracing Diversity Board meeting (the Force’s Strategic Equalities meeting chaired by ACC Liane James) in early 2016 by the Force’s LGB&T Staff Support Network, it was acknowledged that the Force is not yet equipped to support Trans employees and therefore, there is a need to be looking at how it can educate and prepare the workforce and workplace for this. It is also necessary to ensure that the Force is providing a high-level of service to Trans members of the community, and those who identify as having non-binary genders. There is a need to understand how the Force can better serve those members of the public, especially with regards to initial point of contact and custody.
In order to address these concerns, the Gender Identity Working Group was established internally to consider numerous matters including HR practices, internal and external policies and procedures, the collection of gender data on various forms and systems together with guidance and training available in order to gain a better understanding of where the Force is at. This group was chaired by the Force’s Gender Identity Diversity Champion and attended by the relevant heads of department. As well as undertaking internal reviews, the group engaged with the Trans community in order to build relationships and to better understand their needs and experiences. Information and guidance was also sought from other bodies such as Stonewall in order to ensure that any recommendations made to the Embracing Diversity Board were well informed and evidence based.
Further to the work undertaken by the Gender Identity Working Group, a set of recommendations were submitted for the consideration of the Embracing Diversity Board which, having considered the evidence available, the working group deem necessary if we are to make progress in becoming a more Trans Friendly employer and service. A copy of the report including the Recommendations can be found here.
Those recommendations were accepted by the Embracing Diversity Board on the 8t February 2017, and a delivery plan for achieving the same over the next year has now been signed off by Chief Constable Mark Collins.
- Gender neutral facilities to be introduced to all sites across the estates portfolio where viable, and to be explicitly labelled as such. Specific consideration to be given to the introduction of gender neutral facilities as part of the Force-wide renovations planned.
- Review custody suites with a view to ensuring that all cells are gender neutral, and that there are no differentiations between male and female cells.
- Uniform policy to be reviewed with the view of removing any differences in uniform presentation which are gender specific (e.g. stating that a male should wear something and a female should wear something else).
- Consideration to be given to the use of Positive Action in the recruitment of Trans people, as part of the Force’s Positive Action strategy.
- Joining forms utilised during recruitment to be amended to provide for candidates to indicate when they have additional needs associated with their gender identity. A system to be put in place for transferring this information to the line manager (with the individual’s consent) before a successful candidate commences employment in order to ensure that appropriate measures are in place before they commence.
- LGB&T liaison officers to be tasked with holding surgeries within their communities aimed at engaging with the LGB&T community specifically.
- Introduce a LGB&T page on the Force internet page, specifically aimed at communicating its commitment to the LGB&T community.
- People Services to receive a Transgender Awareness training input in order to raise their awareness of consideration to be made in creating and operating policies and procedures, as well as the specific needs of Trans employees in the workplace. Such training to be factored into ongoing scheduled staff training in order to ensure that all staff receive it.
- Trans Awareness training to be rolled out to Custody staff as a priority in order to ensure that the Trans community are receiving an appropriate level of service, free of discrimination. Such training to be factored into ongoing scheduled staff training in order to ensure that all staff receive it.
- All Force Communication Centre staff to receive Trans awareness training with a specific focus on the misgendering of Trans people on the telephone. Training to be factored into ongoing scheduled staff training in order to ensure all staff receive it.
- Professional Standards Department and Public Service Bureau staff to receive Trans awareness training with a specific focus on the misgendering of Trans people on the telephone, an awareness of the different gender identities and an understanding of the hostility and discrimination faced by Trans people. Such training to be factored into ongoing scheduled staff training in order to ensure that all staff receive it.
- A Trans awareness podcast to be developed for utilisation by all Staff and Officers in order to raise their general awareness around Trans issues.
- Systems to be developed where viable to allow for non-binary genders and titles to be recorded.
- HR system (Trent) to be developed to include an option for staff and officer to self-declare their gender identity as part of the sensitive information collated on there.
- Owners of HR policies identified as Amber within the policy RAG assessment to be tasked to amend the language within the policy to ensure that it is gender neutral. This task is to be undertaken on review of each policy.
- Owners of all other policies identified as Amber within the policy RAG assessment to be tasked to amend the language within the policy to ensure that it is gender neutral. This task is to be undertaken on review of each policy.
- Communicate the commitment of the Force with regards to Trans inclusion, both internally and externally, and ensure that the work which is ongoing to develop the Force is publicised.
- Further engagement to be undertaken with the Trans community in the spring of 2018 in order to review progress being made against the recommendations.
Actions for the force
As mentioned above, a delivery plan for meeting the Recommendations made within the report has now been signed off by Chief Constable Mark Collins. This delivery plan for meeting these recommendations will be monitored on a quarterly basis at the Embracing Diversity Board.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for details of progress being made against these Recommendations over the next year.
If you have any questions in relation to this work, or have any suggestions as to additional Recommendations we should be considering as a Force then please do not hesitate to contact the Equality, Diversity and Welsh Language Manager on 01267 226134 or email them.