Force named top performer for LGBT equality for second year running | Knutsford Times

Force named top performer for LGBT equality for second year running

By on January 21, 2019

Cheshire Constabulary has been named as the top performing police force in the country for equality amongst lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff for the second year running.

The Stonewall Top 100 Employers highlights the best performing employers across the country on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index (WEI) 2019.

As well as being the top police force for the second year in a row, Cheshire has also moved up eight places in the national rankings.

In 2018 the Constabulary was ranked in 26th place, but this year has seen the force move up to 18th out of 445 employers in the public and private sector.

The national index, which was published on Monday, 21 January, is an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff.

Feedback from Stonewall praised the Constabulary for the visibility and commitment of senior staff at LGBT events and the strong statements made to support the LGBT community.

Community engagement was also praised, and in particular the force’s Youth Engagement teams who regularly visit schools to deliver hate crime talks and assemblies which refer specifically to LGBT hate crime.

Acting Deputy Chief Constable Darren Martland, LGBT Champion for the Constabulary, said: “We are delighted to have moved up eight places in this year’s Stonewall Index and to be ranked as the top police force in the country for the second year running is something we are extremely proud of in Cheshire.

“Reaching 18th place nationally demonstrates all the fantastic work that has been done during the past 12-months and we will continue to work with our staff, community groups and partners to strive to be one of the best performing organisations in the country.”

“The feedback received from Stonewall, along with our improved ranking, demonstrates that we are a place of work where LGBT+ staff are included, supported and able to flourish.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: “This accolade is testament to the hard work of Cheshire Constabulary to ensure it is one of the country’s most inclusive employers.

“To yet again be named the top police force for diversity and to have also moved up eight places in the overall rankings reflects that the Constabulary is committed to continuing to support LGBT+ staff and members of the community.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am proud that Cheshire Constabulary’s workforce is more diverse than ever and is reflective of the diverse range of communities it serves throughout Cheshire.”

Nicola Bailey, head of Human Resources at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “We are thrilled with our eight-place improvement in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2019, and it is a testament to the progression that the LGBT+ Staff Network, Positive Action team and wider departments and staff have made this year.

“As ever, we have been supported by our leadership team, who are continually determined to ensure that LGBT+ individuals in and out of force are supported by Cheshire Constabulary to the best of our abilities.

“There has also been an increase in collaborative working with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire West and Chester Council, with the launch of a cross-service LGBT+ role models booklet early last year.

“Our LGBT Action plan for the year will take into account the outputs from the Stonewall staff survey, to ensure we continue to make strides in relation to LGBT+ equality.”

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Cheshire Constabulary and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK.

“LGBT inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people.”

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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