West Midlands Police has recently been developing a refreshed approach to Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR). As part of this process we are launching a new EDHR Strategy and a supporting delivery plan for the forthcoming year. Our aim is to ensure we deliver positive outcomes in the areas of business our service users and employees have told us are priorities.
We recognise that EDHR is part of everything we do and is constantly evolving according to need and priority. As a result we are publishing our EDHR strategy, delivery plan, an accompanying portfolio of EDHR information and our equality objectives so you may hold us accountable for our actions.
This EDHR information and our objectives are published in accordance with our statutory duties embodied in the Equality Act 2010. Since October last year we have been asking you to tell us what you would like to see and we thank you for your responses. As a result we have published a range of information and objectives and would welcome any feedback you may have so we can continue to respond to our customers’ needs.
There are a number of accessible ways you can contact us – click here for a full list.
We have also tried to ensure our documents are accessible to all our customers in a variety of formats.
If you have any comments or questions regarding this or any suggestions regarding the EDHR Strategy, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and human rights, the WMP Diversity and Community Cohesion Unit has prepared this Combined Equality and Human Rights Scheme. We have worked for over a year with members of staff and involved up to 5,000 members of the public in developing this document and the action plan.
We intend that this scheme will be a living document that helps us to plan and improve our services and build further confidence in policing. It would be normal to review schemes such as this annually, but to underline our commitment to equality, diversity and human rights and in light of Paragon, this scheme will be reviewed in October 2010.
The action plan has been updated and shows the completed actions and positive outcomes.
WMP are currently reviewing the EDHR structure to ensure that it is fit for purpose and effective in delivering against our new legal duties embedded in the Equality Act 2010.
As part of this review we will be looking at a means to ensure that we can publish what we do to discharge our specific duties effectively and set objectives to further improve the way we deliver EDHR both for our workforce and our service users.
We currently publish the CEHRS on our external website so the public can see how we deliver EDHR. We are reviewing this to seek better means of providing evidence to our public of the positive outcomes from our initiatives and providing a means by which they can become involved and contribute to shaping our service delivery and our accountability framework.
The Combined Equality and Human Rights Scheme was developed by putting our community and our workforce at its core. This review demonstrates how we are working towards its delivery.
This is the first review of the West Midlands Police Combined Equality and Human Rights Scheme. In the six month period between the publication of the scheme and this review some major changes have taken place.
The major changes in Government and the introduction of the Equality Act will have a major impact not only on WMP but in the way we do business. The diversity team is monitoring the implementation of the Equality Act 2010 and will incorporate compliance through best practice into day to day business over the course of the next 12 months.
At the heart of our business is the delivery of a first class policing service and the protection of our communities. WMP is currently facing significant financial challenges and these are forecast to extend well into the future. However, significant opportunities have been presented through the new Government’s approach to policing with its increased focus on accountability. Both factors will obviously impact upon the way we deliver our service with the challenge to be more creative with less.
The scheme is a living document, reflecting changing community needs and political and financial realities. WMP has been preparing for increased financial constraints through Programme Paragon, an organisational change initiative. This programme is designed to put the public at the very heart of the service and went live in April 2010. It has provided an opportunity to take forward new ideas in terms of our service delivery.
The Equality Act is historically the biggest change in terms of equality & diversity legislation. It now requires all public bodies to set business objectives in their delivery plans covering eight protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment) instead of simply disability, gender and race as previously required.
There will be a transitional period over the course of the next 12 months to move towards a new format of EDHR delivery incorporating the existing good work achieved to date. Although there will not be a legal requirement to produce an Equality scheme in the new “Specific Duties” due in April 2011 WMP will continue to use the current scheme during the transition to a new structure.
The CEHRS action plan has been updated with an additional inclusion of the positive outcomes as a result of these actions.
Each LPU and corporate department is completing the Equality Standard framework highlighting areas of strength and areas that need to be worked on. This provides the knowledge to formulate future objectives. The information that we gain about our performance on equality, diversity and human rights from the Equality Standard is aligned to the CEHRS, and the Police Authority delivery plan and will continuously inform how we deliver EDHR.
Your ongoing comments are welcome. Please direct them to the Diversity Manager, Fiona Washington.