Equality and diversity
The public-sector Equality duty, which came into force in 2011, places a legal duty on public authorities to take account of the need to get rid of unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to promote equal opportunities and encourage good relations between everyone. The duty also applies to the PCC.
The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment.
The protected characteristics are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
The Commissioner will monitor the Force’s progress with regard to equality and diversity issues on a regular basis via an exceptions-based reporting system. The Force holds a Strategic Diversity Board on a quarterly basis, chaired by the Assistant Chief Constable. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) work closely with the Force on equality and diversity issues and is represented at the Board meeting.
As part of the Equality Act 2010 specific duties, the Commissioner is required to publish its equalities objectives. The Commissioner’s predecessor, the Lincolnshire Police Authority and the Force worked together on developing the equality objectives.
The Equalities objectives for the organisations are set as follows:
- Increase in reporting of hate crime to the police and third party reporting sites
- Raise awareness of hate crime both in the community with partners and internally, through presentations, leaflets, press and publicity
- Review policies and practices around hate crime in line with EHRC enquiry
- Promote the use of accessible information – easy read etc through guidance and road-shows
- Improved victim satisfaction across all diversity groups.
The objectives will be measured and monitored by the Force’s Strategic Diversity Board.
National and local equalities reports
The Commissioner considers local and national reports to help gain a good understanding of our communities in Lincolnshire including the extent of inequality and disadvantage. This helps us when we are making decisions and settings priorities. A selection of resources is provided below:
- Lincolnshire Research Observatory- holds a wide range of local data including information about population, demographics, deprivation. The 'Equality and Diversity in Lincolnshire report' (opens as PDF) from 2009 highlights the key issues.
- 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.
Equality and diversity policy
We recognise and value difference among all individuals and are committed to enhancing the levels of mutual confidence and understanding existing between the police service in Lincolnshire and different groups within our wider community. We want to ensure that everyone, regardless of their gender, race, religion/belief, disability, age or sexual orientation receives a policing service that is responsive to their needs.
We aim to promote and deliver true equality both internally with our own staff and the Force and externally to the people of Lincolnshire in how we deliver a fair and equitable service. We aim to make significant moves to improve the way we conduct our business in relation to equality and diversity issues.
We are committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society and each employee feels respected and able to give of their best.
Providing equality and fairness
We aim to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment and not to discriminate on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
- To create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.
- Every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
- Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all staff.
- Equality in the workplace is good management practice and makes sound business sense.
- We will review all our employment practices and procedures to ensure fairness.
- Breaches of our equality policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
Equality profile of OPCC
To ensure equality of opportunity we review equality monitoring information on a regular basis. We look at information relating to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and for all new positions that we recruit in to.
The equality profile of the OPCC is as follows (as of 1 January 2017):
- Number of staff in OPCC: 10
- Percentage of women: 50%
- Percentage ethnic minorities: 0%
- Percentage with disability: 10%
The Secretariat comprises five full time members of staff, two part-time members of staff, two interns (12 month placements); and one apprentice (15 month placement).
All staff have regular 'one-to-one' supervision meetings with their line manager. The meetings include the discussion and consideration of each individual's training and development needs.
- There haven't been any occurrences of women returning to work after being on maternity leave.
- There haven't been any occurrences of disabled employees returning to work following sick leave relating to their disability.
- There haven't been any occurrences of grievances, disciplinary action or dismissals.
Equality monitoring data – recruitment
We also monitor equality data from recruitment campaigns. We ask everyone who applies for a position within the organisation to fill in an equal opportunities monitoring form. We look at the results and assess if there are any concerns or issues that the PCC needs to address, or if there are areas for improvement (for example in advertising coverage).
Engagement and consultation
The Commissioner agrees the Engagement and Consultation plan on an annual basis. The current plan sets out activity that achieves one or more of the following targeted aims:
- Budget consultation
- Priorities consultation
- Awareness raising
- Empowering communities to be involved
- Website and internet engagement
- General access engagement
- Geographically targeted work
- Hard to reach groups
Equality Impact Assessments
An equality impact assessment (EIA) is a way of systematically and thoroughly assessing, and consulting on, the effects that a proposed policy is likely to have on people, due to factors such as their ethnicity, disability and gender. It can also be used as a way of estimating the likely equality implications of existing functions or policies on people from different backgrounds.
The purpose of the Equality Impact Assessment process is to improve the way in which the Commissioner develops policies and functions by making sure there is no discrimination in the way that they are designed, developed or delivered and to ensure that, wherever possible, equality is promoted.
A hate crime is any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s disability, race, religion/belief, sexual orientation or transgender. The Force and Commissioner is committed to monitoring the impact of hate crime and raising awareness about hate crime reporting.