This week is Diversity and Inclusion week and brings together a number of activities.
Two weeks ago we released the results of the Big Conversation, our staff survey, and indeed we released every result for every department for everyone to see. I am very pleased with the number of staff that took part. 53% of staff completing it is a very high rate of completion for any internal survey. I cannot help be pleased that 75% of those who took part say they love their job.
You may have noticed we have not come out with a force response; that is deliberate. You will see through Team Talk we want you all to discuss this and identify key things your team think are important to concentrate on. That’s exactly what we as an Exec Team are doing. The survey is the start of a conversation, so join in the debate! In the next few weeks we will be sharing the details of the innovation fund so your ideas on how to improve how things have the opportunity to access some cash.
In terms of the Executive Team a few changes have taken place. ACC Jayne Meir started this week as ACC for Crime (FCID, Criminal Justice, PPU and Forensics), ACC Sue Southern now leads on Security and Organised Crime (CTU, Intelligence, ROCU) as T/ACC Matt Ward goes back to head the CTU with our thanks. I am looking forward to Vanessa Jardine joining us from GMP next month.
Last week was Volunteer Week and we held a terrific event for those who give of their own time to help us. The figures say it all. We have 1,200 Homewatches and over 900 people are out in our communities doing Streetwatch. New Special Constables are arriving boosting our numbers to 178 and there will be 500 by 2022. The band, the puppy walkers, the Museum and so many more things happen thanks to the efforts of volunteers. It is great to see so many people volunteering to help us. Volunteer week has been topped off by our Force Chaplain John Butcher receiving the British Empire Medal for his tremendous spiritual and pastoral leadership. A credit to all our volunteer chaplains.
Diversity and inclusion has been high profile in the force with the protests at Anderton Park School and tensions with some parts of the Sikh community at Vaisakhi. Occasionally, I suspect, some colleagues may feel we are just too busy to concentrate on the issues of diversity and inclusion. I think that is a mistake. In an organisation that strives for fairness, understanding, difference and valuing it is critical so our Diversity and Inclusion week is vital.
In policing it is not just what we do but how we do it. There are two parts of our strategy: Diversity and Inclusion.
In terms of diversity, recognising we are a force that welcomes difference really matters.
At Birmingham Pride with WMP Cadets
Over the last weeks I marched with LGBT staff in Pride and also fasted with Muslim staff. These are, despite the trolling, not virtue signalling acts! I have gained huge insight from trying to stand in the shoes of different people and seeking to understand their perspective. The recent fasting, for example, made me realise just how demanding this is for operational staff. My day job is less physically demanding than most officers and it was still tough.
The more all of us, but especially our leaders, can spend understanding the different experience of LGBT, gender, BAME, Faith, Disability staff is vital. It is simply about treating people as individuals by understanding their needs not just assuming they are the same as the majority.
Speaking at an Iftar event organised National Association of Muslim Policing
There is a huge amount of material this week to help you understand more as part of our Diversity and Inclusion Week. Can I ask that you engage with the opportunities this week. Despite great improvements, as our survey shows, too many people experience discrimination and unfair treatment at work. We all, and especially leaders, need to make improvements.
Which brings me to inclusion and back to the staff survey. Inclusion is about every voice in WMP and every person mattering. It’s why we do the survey, 100 Little Things and the People Deal. Everyone matters in our police family. To be the best we can be for the public everyone needs to be valued in our team. People deliver performance.