Our Commitment to Equality and Diversity
Derbyshire is a County rich in diversity both in terms of its people and culture and its geography. It has a resident population just in excess of 1 million,* and more than 35,000 students. Approximately 8% of the county’s population is made up of black and minority ethnic groups, with half of these being from an Asian background. Sikh and Muslim communities are represented in higher proportions than the national average with prime residency being in Derby city. There is a higher proportion of people than is the national average in receipt of disability benefits. There is a significant deaf population within the city. Derbyshire also has a large transient population with the Peak District National Park being one of the most visited national parks in the world. These are just a few examples of the diverse nature of Derbyshire.
Derbyshire Police Authority recognises this diversity and the value which it brings to our society. The Authority is committed to integrating the principles of equality and diversity into it’s work to ensure that, as far as possible, everyone in Derbyshire is able to access a policing service which meets their needs and is fair for all. The Authority sees this as a moral, as well as a legal, obligation.
* ONS Mid-2010 estimates
Legal Requirements - The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 has provided a welcome opportunity for us, the Authority, to review our approach to equality and diversity by considering our current practices and the progress already made and by seeking to identify ways in which we can improve the way we engage with our communities and tailor our services to meet their needs.
The Equality Act 2010 consolidated previous legislation; whereas the previous legislation was aimed at considerations of race, gender and disability, the new legislation is much wider both in terms of its scope generally and the fact that it now aims to provide protection for nine protected characteristics.
If you wish to view our previous equality schemes in relation to race, gender and disability these are available in the archives section of our website.
The legislation sets out a new duty, the “Public Sector Equality Duty” – also referred to as the “General Duty”. It also sets out Specific Duties as to how public authorities comply with the General Duty. To read more about the General Duty and the Specific Duties click on the following links to see reports which were presented to the Derbyshire Police Authority’s Corporate Governance Committee in June 2011 and January 2012.
The General Duty
In order to comply with the general duty, we have reviewed the way in which the Authority endeavours to integrate considerations of equality and diversity into its day to day business. The Derbyshire Police Authority Integration Schematic Diagram demonstrates how this is done. The Authority’s equality duties are two-fold, firstly to oversee the Constabulary and ensure that it complies with the equality activity and secondly, as the Police Authority is a Public Authority in its own right, to ensure it also gives effect to the General Duty.
One of the Authority’s key functions is to oversee the Constabulary and to set its strategic direction. The Constabulary and the Police Authority share a commitment to equality and diversity and to this end have developed a Joint Equality Strategy in order to set out this commitment and explain how we will meet our responsibilities. Click here to see the easy read version of the strategy.
The Derbyshire Constabulary is currently undertaking consultation on this strategy and you can participate in this consultation by visiting the Derbyshire Constabulary website Equality page. The final version of the strategy will be published on both the Constabulary and Authority websites in due course.
The Specific Duties
1- Publishing of Equality Information
There is a requirement to publish equality information to show compliance with the general duty by 31st January 2012 and on an annual basis thereafter.
The Derbyshire Constabulary has published information in the form of data which relates to the Derbyshire Force area and this can be accessed on the Derbyshire Constabulary website Equality page. This data relates to the service users and staff of the Constabulary and the Authority.
In addition, information which relates to equality can be accessed on the Authority’s website as follows:
Statistics on various themes including equality related data are regularly presented to the Authority at its meetings (both Full Authority meetings and Committee Meetings). By clicking on the Forthcoming meetings and previous meetings section of our website you can follow the links to view papers presented to these meetings. In particular, the Resources Committee receives a scorecard at each meeting which provides workforce data, the Citizen Focus Committee receives scorecard information and qualitative reports in relation to customer satisfaction and service users, and the Strategic Policing Committee receives scorecards and qualitative information regarding crime statistics.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs), which enable us to assess the impact our policies and procedures may have on different people to ensure these are as fair and inclusive as possible. For more information on EIAs please go to the Equality Impact Assessment page.
2- Objective Setting
There is a requirement upon public authorities to prepare and publish equality objectives by 6th April 2012 and at least every four years thereafter. It is intended that this will help us to focus on the priority equality issues in order to deliver improvements. There is to be an emphasis on proportionality.
The Derbyshire Police Authority Equality Objectives were finalised by the Corporate Governance Committee on 29th March 2012. Please click on the following links to see the report, our objectives and the action plan which has been prepared to help us meet these objectives.
Equality Objectives Report to Corporate Governance Commitee
The Transition to Police and Crime Commissioners
In November 2012 Police Authorities will be abolished and replaced with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will therefore take over the responsibility for governance of policing and will also have additional responsibilities in respect of commissioning for community safety services.
One of the main priorities for the Derbyshire Police Authority over the forthcoming year will be preparing for this major transition to ensure that new arrangements and frameworks are in place to hand over to the new PCC. For this reason many of the Police Authority’s policies and procedures will need to be replaced with new ones, or significantly altered to comply with the new arrangements.
When preparing the Authority’s equality objectives the transition to PCCs will doubtless be a major consideration. The PCC will also have equality duties and the Police Authority will wish to hand over to the PCC a framework which incorporates equality and diversity giving regard to the general duty and with mechanisms for implementing the specific duties.
Further information will be added to the website as this process is developed.
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