Equality and Diversity
Single Equality Scheme
The mission of Suffolk Police Authority is “To ensure the delivery of the highest quality police service for Suffolk within the available resources”.
A key underpinning principle of the mission is the active promotion of equality and diversity.
The Authority’s commitment to ensuring a fair and equitable police service for all of Suffolk’s communities is set out in its Single Equality Scheme. The Scheme includes the actions agreed to meet the statutory duties to promote race, gender and disability equality and covers the other strands of diversity. Progress against the Action Plan is reviewed annually and the outcomes and other information published in an annual summary. The Single Equality Scheme and Annual Summary 2010/11 can be viewed in our documents section.
A key responsibility for the Police Authority as a governance body is to ensure that the Chief Constable is effectively progressing the promotion of equality and diversity within the force and in the delivery of policing services to the people of Suffolk. The Scheme includes actions for monitoring the performance of the Constabulary, including the submission of an annual progress report to the Authority. An important aspect of monitoring relates to police stop and search powers. The following link provides information for the public about their rights - Stop and Search.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act has replaced previous anti-discrimination laws to promote race, disability and gender equality and related specific duties for public authorities to produce equality schemes.
The Act imposes a new public sector equality duty on public authorities (which includes police authorities and chief constables) that came into effect on 5 April 2011. The equality duty covers the following ‘protected characteristics’: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
In exercising its functions, a public authority must have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited under the Act;
Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristics and persons who do not share it;
Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
New specific duties require a public authority to:
Publish information by 31 January 2012 to demonstrate compliance with the equality duty and subsequently at intervals of not greater than one year;
Prepare and publish by 6 April 2012 one or more objectives it thinks it should achieve to meet the equality duty and subsequently at intervals of not greater than four years.
With effect from November 2012, police authorities will be replaced by directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for each police force area. The Authority’s responsibilities, including setting strategic direction and monitoring performance, will transfer to the elected PCC. The PCC will be required to hold the chief constable to account for the exercise of any statutory equality and diversity duties imposed on the chief constable.
The Police Authority will continue to meet its obligations under the Equality Act up until its abolition in November 2012. The Authority will monitor progress of the Constabulary against key actions in the existing Single Equality Scheme Action Plan to ensure that equality and diversity is promoted within the workforce and in the delivery of fair and equitable policing services to the people of Suffolk.
Specific Duty to Publish Information by 31 January 2012
The Annual Summary 2010-2011 provides information to demonstrate the Authority’s compliance with the equality duty. The summary includes:
A summary of progress against the Action Plan;
An analysis of the ethnicity, gender and disability of the Authority’s staff team and Police Authority members;
An analysis of volunteer recruitment by ethnicity, gender and disability;
Results of user satisfaction surveys of victims of crime;
A summary of key consultation activities.
Visit our documents section to view the Annual Summary 2010-2011
The Constabulary has published information to demonstrate its compliance with the equality duty. This includes relevant information about the workforce under the direction and control of the Chief Constable. Click here to view Constabulary information.
Specific Duty to Publish Equality Objectives by 6 April 2012
The Authority and Constabulary have published the following equality objectives that support the policing priorities set out in the Police Authority Three-Year Plan 2012-2015 and reflect the themes in the national Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy for the police service:
- To check and monitor our performance for areas that could lead to discrimination particularly stop and search.
- To increase the diversity of the police family in Suffolk to reflect the communities we serve.
- To increase the trust and confidence of all our communities in policing.
In addition, in fulfilment of its responsibility to ensure that the Chief Constable is effectively progressing the promotion of equality and diversity within the Constabulary and in the delivery of policing services to the people of Suffolk, the Authority has adopted the following overarching objective:
- To monitor the Constabulary’s performance against the equality objectives.
The Authority’s monitoring actions will require the Chief Constable to report regularly to the Authority or relevant committee on diversity and equality within the workforce, complaints of alleged discrimination, and the use of police stop and search powers.
Click here for more information about the Constabulary’s proposals for developing action plans to achieve the equality objectives, and monitoring arrangements.
Comments are welcomed and can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by post to the Chief Executive, Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 3QS.